Eir confirms ‘solid and consistent’ Q1 2021, despite 2pc revenue drop

17 Nov 2020

Image: © Silvano Rebai/Stock.adobe.com

Eir’s latest quarterly earnings were in line with expectations as the company continues to grow its mobile and broadband customer base.

In the first quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, ending 30 September 2020, Eir saw revenue fall 2pc to €298m while earnings increased by 1pc to €142m.

The telecoms company said that these results were in line with expectations, with operating costs remaining at €96m and its cash balance sheet standing at €528m for the quarter after property disposal proceeds.

In terms of division performance, its GoMo mobile network now has 1.184m customers, up by 16pc from the 163,000 customers it had this time last year. More than two-thirds (67pc) of the company’s mobile base – equivalent to 791,000 customers – is now on bill-pay contracts, marking a 40pc year-on-year increase.

Eir also saw an increase of 2pc in the number of broadband customers on this time last year, edging closer to the 1m-mark with 967,000 account holders. There are now 784,000 Eir fibre broadband connections, up 67,000 year-on-year and accounting for 81pc of the company’s broadband base.

Looking at its 5G roll-out, outdoor population coverage is now more than 45pc across the country, up 16pc compared to this time last year. The number of Eir TV customers saw quarter-on-quarter growth of 4pc to reach 79,000.

Eir CFO Stephen Tighe said that the first quarter performance “remained solid and consistent with previous quarters”, despite the impact of Covid-19 restrictions.

“We have continued to face these challenges while successfully focusing on our strategy and objectives, with our €1bn investment to roll out fibre broadband and 5G, as well as the expansion of 4G and upgrade of our IT stack, all continuing to progress at pace in the first quarter,” he said. “We expect further improvements in our performance as the year progresses.”

‘Maintaining connections has not been easy’

Eir CEO Carolan Lennon added that “maintaining the connections people are depending upon has not been easy”.

“Keeping Ireland connected will remain mine and my team’s priority, supporting our customers as we all adapt to a new way of life,” she said. “Our investment programme will continue in the coming months, with safety our number-one priority. We have plans to roll out 5G to every major town in Ireland and will continue to pass more homes and businesses with ultrafast broadband.”

However, ComReg recently described Eir’s customer service as “completely unacceptable” following reports of customers having problems reporting service issues. In a statement sent to The Irish Times following the issue being raised in the Dáil last week, the communications regulator said it was investing what was needed to get Eir to respond to complaints faster.

“ComReg is also considering whether it would be possible to place additional obligations on service providers and we will discuss with the Government if new legislation is needed,” the statement said.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic