Eir’s earnings rise but revenue falls as acquisition deal concludes

Teleco saw revenue fall 2 per cent to €955 million in nine months to end of March

Eir’s earnings before storm costs rose 3 per cent to €387 million in the nine months to the end of March.

Eir’s earnings before storm costs rose 3 per cent to €387 million in the nine months to the end of March.

 

Telecommunications group Eir saw revenue fall 2 per cent to €955 million in the nine months to the end of March. The company, however, said earnings before storm costs rose 3 per cent to €387 million, driven in the main by cost efficiencies.

Last month, the company announced that it was cutting 750 jobs as part of its latest cost-cutting initiative. The move is designed to cut almost €150 million of net annual costs and is aimed at all grades of staff, which currently number 3,225.

The company’s latest financial results covered the company’s takeover by French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel, who acquired a controlling stake in the business through his NJJ investment vehicle. The deal, agreed in December, valued Eir at €3.5 billion.

“The acquisition by the NJJ consortium is now complete and I am proud to lead Eir through the next chapter of its transformation journey,” new chief executive Carolan Lennon said.

“Our focus is on driving growth through investment in both our broadband and mobile networks while creating a leaner, more agile organisation to enable us to respond better to the needs of our customers,” she said.

The company said its latest results were in line with expectations. During the period, the telco boosted its broadband subscriber base by 29,000 to 919,000 while subscriptions to its Eir Vision TV service rose by 8,000 to 75,000.

Fibre broadband

Eir has invested about €500 million in its next-generation fibre broadband network over the past five years.

At the end of March, some 620,000 or 67 per cent Eir customers were using some kind of fibre-based broadband service.

The telco said it had completed more than half of the 300,000 rural fibre-to-the-home programme undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Communications. The homes were originally part of the Government’s National Broadband Plan, which Eir exited earlier this year having been the original frontrunner.

Overall Eir said its fibre broadband rollout had now passed 1.8 million or 75 per cent of all Irish homes and businesses.

The company said it had a “stable mobile base with an improving mix of customers and more customers opting for bundles”.

It has just over a million mobile customers, with 51 per cent of these on post-pay contracts.

Eir also noted that securing the Guinness Pro14 broadcasting rights for the Republic was an exciting development and would expand its sporting content.