Revenues rise at Eir as broadband, mobile and TV customers grow

Earnings stable during quarter as company launches new telecoms and ICT venture

Telecoms group Eir said revenue rose 1 per cent and earnings remained stable in the third quarter of the year as it increased broadband, mobile and TV customers.

The results for the three-month period ended September 30th were in line with expectations, the group said. Revenue was €302 million for the period, driven by growth in data services, postpay and bundling, and revenues from from Evros. This was partly offset by a reduction in traditional access, traffic, sport content, Eir UK, and prepay revenues.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at €142 million. The group’s operating costs rose 7 per cent to €102 million. Cash on its balance sheet was €192 million at the end of the period.

Eir showed mixed growth across its business units. While fibre broadband customers rose 5 per cent to 823,000, Eir’s wider broadband base was stable at 967,000, with a 3 per cent rise in wholesale customers covering for a 3 per cent decline in retail customers.

The company's fibre network now passes 2 million premises, which accounts for 85 per cent of premises in Ireland. Of this, fibre to the home is now available to 715,000 premises, up 34 per cent year on year.

"Our fibre rollout programme is making a real and demonstrable impact to the quality of lives of our customers around the country," said Eir chief executive Carolan Lennon. "Eir has committed €1 billion in capital investment to upgrade the network across the island of Ireland."

Bill-pay mobile customers increased to 869,000, a 10 per cent rise, with the growth driven by virtual network GoMo. Eir now has a total of 1.206 million customers, a rise of 2 per cent. Some 72 per cent of Eir’s mobile base is on postpay.

The roll-out of Eir’s 5G network continued with the new service available in 352 towns and cities across Ireland and outdoor population coverage over 70 per cent.

“We have extensive ambitions for our 5G network and the improvements this technology can bring to our daily lives,” said Ms Lennon. “That is why we have enabled 5G on all in-market plans at no extra cost for customers. This is a first for the Irish market and will allow customers access speeds up to 10 times faster than 4G with a 5G compatible device.”

Eir TV now has 83,000 customers, up 6 per cent year on year, while triple and quad-play bundling accounted for 39 per cent of Eir fixed households.

The period has seen a number of developments for the telco, including the launch of Eir Evo, a merger of Eir Business and Evros to form a telecommunications and ICT solutions provider.

"Our performance in the quarter to September was solid, with continued year-on-year growth across our fibre, mobile, TV and bundled customer bases, coupled with revenue growth in data services and postpay mobile, as well as growth from our recent acquisition of Evros as well as National Broadband Plan access," said Stephen Tighe, eir CFO

“We expect a continued strong performance into the future, with further growth in revenue and EBITDA, continued business streamlining and optimisation, strong cash generation, and important capital expenditure on our fibre and mobile networks to drive future growth.”