Eir loses broadband customers even as revenues rise

Company says its fibre to the home programme now passes 800,000 premises

Communications company Eir saw revenue rise in the first quarter of 2022, but costs also climbed and the group lost retail broadband customers, its quarterly results showed.

Eir said growth in data services, postpay mobile customers and bundling was offset by a fall in voice traffic, sport content, traditional access and prepay mobile revenues. The group also benefitted from an increase in access revenue for the National Broadband Plan and the consolidation of Evros revenue.

The group recorded a total of €301 million in revenue for the quarter, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation falling by €9 million, or 6 per cent year on year.

Fixed line revenue rose by 4 per cent to €235 million, as growth in data services, managed services, NBP access revenue, and the consolidation of Evros revenue had a positive effect.

However the number of broadband customers fell, with the base declining 1 per cent to 961,000, driven by 3 per cent decline in retail customers. The majority of broadband customers are on Eir’s fibre-based network, with 831,000 signed up, a rise of 3 per cent year on year.

Mobile revenue was also lower, down 2 per cent to €75 million as an increase in postpay handset revenue and mobile broadband revenue was offset by a fall in prepay handset, roaming, and other mobile revenues. About 74 per cent of Eir’s 1.23 million mobile customers are on post-pay contracts, a rise of 9 per cent or 73,000 year on year.

Operating costs

Group operating costs rose year on year, reaching €143 million. That 12 per cent increase was primarily due to the consolidation of Evros operational costs.

The company has also continued to expand its fibre broadband and 5G mobile networks.

"As part of Eir's €1 billion capital investment programme, I am pleased to say that Eir's fibre to the home programme rollout continues with significant advancements made across the country. As of Q1 2022, Eir has completed 800,000 premises passed, which is an increase of 28 per cent year on year," said chief executive Oliver Loomes.

"At Eir we are focused on building on our past, advancing our technologies, and bringing the greatest advancements to the customers of Ireland. Not only will our network upgrades enhance our lives in terms of communication, it will help transform the lives of thousands of Irish people who can choose to live, work and study wherever they wish.

“We want to open the door of possibilities to the people of Ireland and as Eir’s ceo [chief executive] I am committed to ensuring Eir continues to deliver on its promise of connecting for a better Ireland.”