Eircom back in black, confirms rebrand as Q4 revenues surge 5pc to €325m

1 Sep 2015

Eircom CEO Richard Moat

Quadplay player Eircom has reported its first year-on-year growth in seven years, with revenues up 5pc to €325m.

The company is also planning to rebrand for the first time in 16 years to reflect its growing ambitions as a fibre broadband player that will reach 1.9m homes by 2020.

Eircom reported this morning that operating costs were down 5pc and EBITDA (earnings before interest and taxes) were up 3pc to €481m.

The incumbent operator said that its fibre footprint now passes 1.3m premises and will reach 1.9m homes and businesses across Ireland by 2020.

Later this month the company will introduce 1Gbps fibre-to-the-home technology.

The company said it has a total of 782,000 total broadband connections, up 9pc year-on-year.

‘The decision to launch a new brand underlines the extent to which the company has evolved our commitment to Ireland and our ambition for the future’

Fibre broadband uptake was strong, growing from 148,000 to 281,000 connections.

TV customers increased 19,000 to 40,000, including 25pc uptake by fibre customers.

Eircom’s mobile base grew by 28,000 to just more than 1m, with 110,000 paying for fixed and mobile bundles.

Eircom said that it has more than 280,000 paying 4G customers.

The main driving force for growth is clearly triple-play and quadplay bundles, with 25pc of customers now paying for TV and mobile bundles. Eircom said it has 1.89 revenue generating units per customer, up from 1.73 a year ago.

Eircom’s total broadband base was 782,000, up 16,000 in the quarter and 64,000 in the year. Out of this, retail was 454,000, declining by 2,000, while Wholesale broadband lines grew by 18,000 during the quarter to 328,000 lines at the end of June.

Eircom to rebrand for first time in 16 years

“This has been a transformative year in the financial and operational performance of the group,” said Eircom CEO Richard Moat.

“We passed a symbolic milestone in June, recording year-on-year revenue growth in the quarter for the first time in seven years, driven by both our fixed and mobile segments.  It is the result of implementing a consistent strategy over the past three years centred on network investment that has provided much-improved product capability and compelling propositions to all our customer segments. 25pc of customers now avail of our TV or mobile bundles and we remain the only operator in the market to offer a quad play of services.”

Moat said that Eircom has invested more than €290m in infrastructure in the past year, bringing the total investment to €1bn over the last three years.

“Today, Ireland’s largest fibre network reaches 1.3 million homes and businesses. This will continue at pace as we expand our network footprint to 1.9 million premises to help ensure that the economic recovery reaches all parts of the country. Later this month we will introduce fibre-to-the-home technology as a commercial service that will offer speeds of up to 1,000Mbps (1Gbps).

“Finally, it is also our intention to introduce a new brand for the company, with details revealed over the coming weeks.

“The decision to launch a new brand underlines the extent to which the company has evolved our commitment to Ireland and our ambition for the future,” Moat added.

In June, Eircom began a nationwide competition to find the “next Belcarra” – a village or community that it intends to connect to 1Gbps fibre broadband in a €250,000 investment.

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