Siro reports 53% revenue increase as number of customers rises

Broadband provider saw increase in demand last year as more people worked and studied from home

CEO of telecoms group Siro, John Keaney. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

CEO of telecoms group Siro, John Keaney. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times


Broadband provider Siro reported a 53 per cent increase in revenue last year to €23 million as the number of households and businesses using its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network during the pandemic rose to 83,000.

Because of the high cost involved of rolling out fibre-optic cables, the ESB-Vodafone joint venture made an after-tax loss of €28 million for the 12 months to the end of December 2020.

The company, which is building a fibre broadband network across the ESB’s infrastructure, this week announced a major €620 million expansion of its network, which will nearly double its footprint to 770,000 premises.

Siro has already spent €450 million on its network, which operates in 64 regional towns and is used by 19 retailers.

“2020 was characterised by the global pandemic of Covid-19,” the company said in a statement with its latest financial filings.

“In Ireland, as elsewhere, broadband connectivity became a key mechanism in underpinning a continuity for society and businesses,” it said.

“This included business moving to online trading, employees working from home and education delivered online,” it said.

“Notwithstanding the challenges from increased network demands resulting from significant shifts to online connectivity, Siro remained resilient and positioned to meet the growth in demand throughout 2020,” it said.

In 2020, Siro secured €200 million in capital from a syndicate of international banks to fund the next phase of its rollout, separate from the €620 million announced this week.