220 opt for voluntary redundancy at Eircom

28 Nov 2007

Revenues at Eircom increased 4pc to €514m over the same quarter last year and the company derived EBITDA (earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of €173m. Some 220 people voluntarily applied for redundancy.

Eircom said that its fixed line revenues came in at €417m, while revenues at Meteor were up 33pc to €116m.

The company said that, during the quarter, 35,000 additional people signed up for DSL, bringing the total number of DSL subscribers on Eircom’s network to 490,000 at the end of September.

The company says that, since then, it has surpassed its target of 500,000 lines and the current DSL number (as of 15 November) has grown to 518,000.

This, Eircom says, puts broadband penetration in Ireland at 18.4pc, just trailing the OECD average of 18.8pc.

Meteor’s mobile-subscriber base increased 24pc during the quarter, with 33,000 new subscribers, bringing the total number of subscribers on Meteor’s network to 908,000. The post-paid segment of Meteor’s network currently stands at 109,000.

In May of this year, Eircom revealed plans to reduce its headcount by 900 workers and during the first quarter 220 applications for voluntary redundancy were formally approved. “The company expects to make continued progress on reaching its target pay costs by the end of 2009,” said chief executive Rex Comb.

During the quarter, Eircom sold its wholly-owned subsidiary Mastco to TowerCom Holdings for €155m in cash.

As well as this, the company won a €100m contract with Northern Ireland’s Civil Service for the Network NI project.

Eircom said that its cash position remains strong, with net cash of €237m in the bank, up from €160m in the previous quarter.

Eircom said there as a capital expenditure outflow of €79m during the quarter, which went on increasing network capacity, rolling out broadband and developing its next-generation network.

By John Kennedy