Eir revenues continue to slide but results ‘in line with expectations’
Telco posted earnings of €578m after successful cost-cutting programme
Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Revenues at Eir have continued to slide in 2019, dipping 2 per cent to €1.24 billion in the year, although a successful cost-cutting programme helped earnings grow in line with expectation.
The telco said earnings of €578 million were up 10 per cent for the year ended June 30th compared to the previous year.
Eir has managed to reduce operating costs by €69 million over the course of the year to €406 million. Among the work it completed was its insourcing programme to bring its customer-care service back in house.
The company, which has €260 million in cash on its balance sheet, also completed its rural fibre-to-the-home programme and has teams now in place to fit out its fibre network to 1.4 million premises in urban and suburban areas.
“This year was one of substantial developments in our business,” said chief executive Carolan Lennon.
“Our €150 million mobile investment programme continues to make great progress, with mast sites already upgraded or expanded in 16 counties across Ireland, and we will deliver 4G services to 99 per cent of the island of Ireland within the next two years.”
The company grew the number of people buying its broadband by 2 per cent in the year to end June, with 944,000 customers. It also has a total of 1.023 million mobile customers, down 2 per cent, and 78,000 Eir “vision” customers.
“While revenue headwinds have contributed to a 2 per cent reduction in overall gross profit for the year, our continued focus on improving the efficiency of our business by simplifying our products and services, streamlining our business processes, and insourcing customer-facing services has resulted in total operating costs declining by 14 per cent year on year,” said chief financial officer Stephen Tighe.
“Revenue growth in traffic and data services, TV, sport and postpay mobile was offset by a reduction in access and managed services revenue, as well as by the impact of regulated and wholesale pricing and promotions to support retail growth and increase market share,” Mr Tighe added.
In April, Eir launched a bond and loan refinancing transaction worth €850 million which will leave it “fully funded until May 2026” when its €1 billion network investment programme will be “well complete”, Ms Lennon said.