Eir targets 80pc of Irish premises with fibre, reports Q3 revenues of €321m

29 Apr 2016

Telecoms operator Eir has reported Q3 revenues of €321m, a 3pc increase on last year.

It said that it is on target to bring fibre to 1.6m homes by June this year and has an ambition to bring fibre to 80pc of Irish premises.

Eir said that storm costs affected its operating costs to the tune of €5m. Before storm costs were taken into account the company reported EBIDTA earnings of €125m, up 4pc on last year.

In terms of broadband, Eir CEO Richard Moat said that the company is on target to reach 1.6m Irish homes with fibre by June 2016 and 1.9m homes by 2020. He added that the plan is to get fibre to 80pc of Irish premises “as quickly as possible”.

The company revealed that, so far, there has been a 28pc uptake of high-speed broadband fibre services out of its base.

“Our fibre rollout continues at pace and remains on target to reach 1.6 million premises by end of June 2016 and over 80pc of Irish premises as quickly as possible,” Moat said.

“We have commenced our rollout of high-speed broadband to 300,000 premises in rural Ireland, and expect to pass the first 100,000 of those premises by the end of the calendar year.”

In recent months, Eir revealed that 100,000 of those 300,000 premises in rural Ireland will receive 1Gbps fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services by March 2017.

Moat said that the Irish Government’s €285m National Broadband Plan – which won’t begin to roll out until 2017, delaying the final deployment until possibly 2022 – was integral to Eir’s further rollout plans.

“We are fully engaged in the Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) and see ourselves as central to supporting Ireland’s digital future. We submitted our pre-qualification questionnaire at the end of March and we will continue to fully participate as the tender progresses.”

Eir revealed it now has a total of 836,000 paying broadband connections, up 18pc in the quarter.

Eir: 19pc on triple and quad play services

It said that 47pc of network broadband connections are now based on fibre. Users of triple and quad play (broadband, TV, mobile and phone) increased to 19pc of customers and the company now has, on average, two revenue generation units per household.

The company’s TV service Eir Vision now has 49,000 customers, 26pc of whom are fibre broadband users. On the mobile front, Eir’s mobile divisions, including Meteor, have 1m customers, out of which 47pc postpay contracts.

Eir said that data usage by its mobile customers increased 45pc year-on-year. Moat said that the acquisition of Setanta Sports Ireland has been completed and it is being steadily integrated into Eir.

CFO Huib Costermans said that the company is on-target to meet its full-year financial targets, despite the €5m storm costs during the winter months.

He added that Eir has been given an upgrade to its credit rating by Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch.

Fibre city lights image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years