Eir maintains positivity after posting 2pc dip in revenues

3 Sep 2019

Eir logo. Image: iluminada57/Depositphotos

Eir’s Q4 results showed that company revenues are down but highlighted ‘substantial developments’ in certain areas of the business.

Eir’s financial results for the fourth quarter and full year, ending 30 June, showed that the telecoms firm’s revenues declined by €21m year on year – a drop of 2pc – to €1.24bn. However, the company said that elsewhere it has shown more promise, with earnings up by 10pc to €578m compared with last year.

Its operating costs have fallen by 14pc to €406m, with its cash holdings now amounting to €260m – up €57m on last year. These cost-saving measures, the company said in a statement, were achieved by having its customer service roles filled with direct Eir staff as opposed to third-party agents.

Eir also said a bond and loan refinancing in April was “extremely well received by the market”.

“In the fourth quarter we successfully extended the residual secured term loans from 2024 to 2026, leaving Eir fully funded until May 2026, when our €1bn network investment programme will be well complete,” said Eir CEO Carolan Lennon.

Its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband scheme was rolled out to 375,000 homes and businesses in recent months, with plans to have a total 1.4m premises connected.

Year of ‘substantial developments in our business’

“This year was one of substantial developments in our business … even as we continued to deliver our essential role as the biggest investor in telecoms infrastructure in Ireland, spending nearly a quarter of our revenue on extensive network investment,” Lennon said.

“Our €150m mobile investment programme continues to make great progress, with mast sites already upgraded or expanded in 16 counties across Ireland, and we will deliver 4G services to 99pc of the island of Ireland within the next two years.”

Looking at its mobile business, Eir lost 25,000 mobile customers compared with the year before, falling by 2pc to 1.02m subscribers.

Stephen Tighe, Eir’s CFO, said of the latest earnings: “While revenue headwinds have contributed to a 2pc reduction in overall gross profit for the year, our continued focus on improving the efficiency of our business by simplifying our products and services, streamlining our business processes, and insourcing customer-facing services has resulted in total operating costs declining by 14pc year on year, or a further 10 percentage points more compared to financial year 2018.

“Revenue growth in traffic and data services, TV, sport and postpay mobile was offset by a reduction in access and managed services revenue, as well as by the impact of regulated and wholesale pricing and promotions to support retail growth and increase market share.”

Eir logo. Image: iluminada57/Depositphotos

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic