Eir grows annual revenue for first time since 2008

Revenue up 4 per cent to €1.3 billion at telecoms group as it ‘accelerates’ 4G roll-out

Eir chief executive Richard Moat: “The transformation of our organisation in the past 12 months is clearly evident.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Eir chief executive Richard Moat: “The transformation of our organisation in the past 12 months is clearly evident.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Eir reported its first annual revenue growth in eight years, the telecoms group said on Friday, as revenue rose by 4 per cent to €1.3 billion.

Revenue in the fourth quarter rose by 4 per cent to €336 million, while full-year revenue, in the year to June 30th, 2016, also increased by 4 per cent or €45 million to €1.31 billion.

Operating costs for the quarter were €119 million, down 3 per cent compared with the prior-year period, and were “broadly flat” (excluding storm costs) at €511 million for the full year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (excluding storm costs) for the quarter and full year were €143 million and €505 million respectively, representing increases of 6 per cent and 5 per cent on 2015.

Rugby World Cup

Eir chief executive Richard Moat said: “The transformation of our organisation in the past 12 months is clearly evident. We introduced our new invigorated brand Eir in September last year, and the recent launch of Eir Sport positions us as a new name in Irish broadcasting. We offer an exciting range of live sport and have also secured the rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

“We have a great platform for our new financial year and we are looking forward to the future with confidence.”

Eir passed 1.6 million premises with fibre at the end of June, and its roll-out of high-speed broadband to 300,000 premises in rural Ireland is “proceeding at pace”, the group said.

Eir’s 4G roll-out programme has now reached 84 per cent population coverage, which will grow to 95 per cent coverage by early 2017.

Thanks to a new capital structure, Eir reduced its cost of debt from 5.2 per cent to 4.5 per cent, achieved through its bond refinancing which resulted in €17 million of interest cost savings, amending its senior debt facility document to align it to market standards and raising a revolving credit facility which allows Eir to make better use of its cash on balance sheet, while supporting the entry of a new long-term shareholder, GIC.

In June, Eir said GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and one of the world’s largest global investors, would pay €230 million to take a stake of as much as 16 per cent in the telecoms group.