Eircom revenues drop 6% as number of fixed-line customers continue to fall
Eircom reported a drop in revenues and earnings in the last three months of 2012 as fixed-line customer numbers continued to fall.
The telecoms group saw a 6 per cent loss in revenues, down €23 million to €361 million, and an 8 per cent drop in earnings, down €10 million to €119 million on the prior year.
‘Rate of loss’
Eircom Group chief financial officer Richard Moat said: “The main contributor to the lower earnings year-on-year was loss of fixed-line customers, where we lost 92,000 customers. But the good thing is we’re starting to see the rate of loss slowing down and the number of customers lost in the second quarter of this year was 30 per cent lower than what it was in the equivalent quarter last year.”
Numbers fell as customers moved to mobile usage only and the group lost out to other providers.
Lower fixed-line customer numbers translated into weaker earnings; however, there was a modest improvement in the group’s overall retail figures, which edged up 1 per cent to 2,050,000 at the end of last year.
Its total customer base, including wholesale customers, stood at 2,442,000 at the end of December 2012.
Eircom is focused on investing in new networks and is rolling out its fibre broadband network to 1.2 million customers, an increase on the 1 million previously covered, as well as introducing the 4G network.
The broadband expansion plan should add 78 new locations to its fibre network by June 2015.
The group also signed up 2,000 new retail broadband customers in the last three months of 2012, the first increase in seven quarters.
Mr Moat added: “The good news is that we were seeing erosion in our broadband base in our previous financial year and that has been growing slightly in recent months.”
The group is continuing to focus on its cost savings programme and operating costs fell 7 per cent to €157 million, compared to the same period in 2011. Most of the reductions came from job losses.
Eircom Group chief executive officer Herb Hribar said: “The long-term trend is to attract customers with our new products, which we expect to stabilise in the long-term. Today’s results are totally in line with the plan and are what we hoped to deliver. The business continues to perform in line with expectations as we make progress to stem our customer losses, revenue decline and profitability erosion.”