Eir reports Q3 revenue of €310m as it surpasses fibre milestone

29 May 2019

Eir CEO Carolan Lennon. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

Telecoms firm reveals that 337,000 premises have been passed with FTTH broadband, including 275,000 in rural roll-out.

Incumbent telecoms operator Eir has reported revenues of €310m for the third quarter, down 2pc on last year but “in line with expectations”.

The company reported EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of €147m, up 7pc on the same quarter last year.

Eir, in which French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel’s NJJ-led consortium agreed to buy a majority stake at an enterprise value of €3.5bn, said that it reduced operating costs by 16pc to €100m in Q3.

“We continued to make substantial progress in the third quarter as we focused on our ongoing mobile and fibre infrastructure investments as well as on delivering real improvements for customers in the levels of service and care experience as we complete the transition to in-house customer service,” said Eir CEO Carolan Lennon.

Lighting the fibre

Eir said that it has now passed 1.9m premises across Ireland with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband.

The company revealed that it now has 688,000 fibre broadband connections active, which is 73pc of the total broadband base. Almost a third (32pc) of customers are now on triple- or quad-play bundles, up 3pc on Q3 last year.

“Eir is the biggest investor in telecoms infrastructure in Ireland, having invested €1.5bn in the last five years, and [we] have committed to a further €1bn over the next five,” Lennon said.

“We continued to accelerate work and planning for our capital investment programme during the quarter, and our FTTH roll-out has now passed 337,000 homes and businesses with super-fast broadband, including 275,000 rural premises.

“We recently announced the latest step in our €500m fibre network investment programme, agreeing a deal with KN Circet to build the Optical Distribution Network for the roll-out of high-speed broadband to 1.4m premises, including every town in Ireland with more than 1,000 premises, delivering a network capable of speeds up to 10Gbps. Together with Eir’s team, this major project will support up to 1,000 jobs in design and network construction across Ireland.”

Last year Eir also revealed plans to bring 4G to 99pc geographic coverage. “Our €150m mobile investment programme to build Ireland’s best mobile network continues to make excellent progress, with sites going live in Dublin, Carlow, Clare, Kildare, Laois and Wexford,” Lennon said.

She added that the company embarked on a bond and loan refinancing transaction in April that was “extremely well received” by the market and closed in May. “This transaction ensures that our financing is secured for the medium term and that our €1bn network investment programme will be complete before we return to the capital markets.”

Lennon also said that the company is making progress on the development of its new in-house customer service strategy. “We have now completed the insourcing programme, and in the seven months since October we have hired and trained over 445 new frontline staff across our three new care hubs in Sligo, Cork and Limerick, with an additional 220 staff having transferred to Eir,” she said.

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