Fibre investment and an agile ethos: Eir unveils full-year results

4 Sep 2018

Eir logo. Image: Eir

Eir’s full-year results were in line with expectations, showing continued growth.

Eir has posted its full-year results up to June, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of €531m, up €11m on 2017’s figures.

Revenues for the firm dipped €24m, sitting at €1.270bn.

Changes afoot

There has been a lot of activity for the firm in the last number of months, but things have settled with the recent completed acquisition of a majority stake in Eir, led by NJJ, concluded in April. A new Irish-led management team is helmed by CEO Carolan Lennon and CFO Stephen Tighe.

Commenting on the changes, Lennon said: “The acquisition led by NJJ, a telco group with a track record of investment in infrastructure and enhanced customer propositions, is now complete. A new senior management team, with an equal gender split, is now in place, with almost all promoted from within Eir.”

She added that the company was well on the way to becoming leaner and more agile with a focus on capital investment, growth, and the provision of high-quality mobile and broadband services.

Storm Ophelia hits Eir hard

Operating costs have been reduced by 4pc year on year. Storm Ophelia ended up costing the company a cool €3m, and full-year operating costs were €472m.

In total, Eir had 923,000 total broadband customers at the end of June, a year-on-year increase of 27,000, and 4,000 in the final quarter of its fiscal year. Wholesale broadband connections grew by 21,000 in the full year, with total wholesale lines now sitting at 473,000.

Increase in fibre customers

635,000 Eir customers are now using its high-speed fibre broadband service, a full-year increase of 84,000, showing strong growth. Eir’s group mobile customer base dipped by 14,000 to a total of 1,047,000 customers. Post-pay customers now make up 52pc of the mobile base.

Mobile EBITDA for the entire year was €85m, a 25pc increase on last year’s figures. Tighe noted the growing popularity of bundle deals with Eir customers, something other companies have also experienced. “More customers than ever are bundling multiple products with us; 75pc of customers now enjoy bundles of two or more Eir services at home and on the go.”

Major investment ahead

Eir is beginning a major €1bn capital investment programme over the next five years to expand its fibre-to-the-home roll-out to a further 1.4m homes in Ireland. 5G network investment is also on the cards.

The company noted its withdrawal from the National Broadband Plan, but added that it is committed to making its infrastructure ready for the plan’s successful delivery. It said: “We are allocating significant resources in order to provide this support and will continue to do so, to help realise the shared ambition of high-speed broadband for all homes and businesses as soon as possible.”

Updated, 10.25am, 4 September 2018: This article was updated to clarify that mobile EBITDA for Eir in 2018 was €85m, not $85m.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects