Eircom Group revenue down 8pc to €1.3bn for full year

27 Sep 2013

Eircom CEO Herb Hribar

Eircom this morning reported annual revenues of €1.3bn, down 8pc or €121m on the previous year. The company reported it was making progress on reducing operating expenses, with costs down €37m or 6pc on last year.

Despite the savings, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) decreased by €55m or 12pc on the previous year to €487m.

Eircom’s retail customer base, fixed and mobile, stood at 1,976,000 at the end of June and includes 1,059,000 mobile customers. The total customer base, including wholesale customers, is 2,390,000.

In the broadband market, Eircom had 451,000 retail broadband customers, a 1pc decrease on its retail broadband customer base since 30 June 2012. The PSTN customer base fell to 917,000, a reduction of 23,000 customers during the year. Broadband lines in Eircom’s wholesale business grew 18,000 during the year to a total of 218,000 lines to 30 June 2013.

In mobile, Eircom’s total customer numbers fell by 2pc in the quarter to 1,059,000 through the end of June 2013. There were 83,000 net additions in the higher value post-pay segment during the year through June 2013, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 67,000 post-pay customers.

Mobile revenues continued to decline by 5pc for the year but mobile EBITDA grew to €17m, almost double the previous year.

Building a superfast broadband network

Eircom CEO Herb Hribar said the company is making progress in terms of its €1.5bn infrastructure investment plan. Last week, the company revealed a vectoring strategy that would lead to speeds of 100Mbps on its network and yesterday the company became the first operator in Ireland to offer 4G services.

“We have made continued progress during the year on a number of key issues that have helped us to stabilise our bottom line EBITDA performance and to come in ahead of our plan. The launch of our superfast fibre broadband network and our achievement this week of becoming the first operator in Ireland to offer 4G mobile services demonstrate how Eircom continues to deliver on its commitments during the past 12 months.

“We now have an infrastructure that supports superfast broadband across fixed and mobile platforms and our infrastructure roll out continues at pace across Ireland. We also have a systems capability that allows Eircom to deliver innovative new products that, when bundled together, provide an attractive and powerful customer proposition that offers real value.

“The cost transformation programme is on track and, despite an increase in competitive intensity during the year, we have made progress in reducing our fixed-line losses and improving in mobile profitability over the past year. However, significant challenges remain and Eircom is committed to addressing many of those challenges in the coming 12 months.  

“We remain fully committed to our strategic investment in infrastructure to build a network for a nation that supports superfast broadband and data services for all our customer segments. Our fibre network passed 475,000 homes and businesses at the end of June 2013 and remains on track to pass 600,000 premises by the end of December.

“Early next year, customers will be able to access speeds of up to 100Mbps per second. Following the launch of our 4G service this week, almost 30pc of the population already has access to superfast mobile data speeds which we believe will peak between 20-25Mb per second,” Hribar said.

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