Eircom reports broadband and mobile growth

15 Nov 2006

Ireland’s largest telecoms operator Eircom this morning reported an 11pc increase in revenues to €977mfor the six months ending September. The company revealed that internet subscribers currently stand at 325,000 and it is aiming to reach 500,000 by the end of 2007.

The company’s new chief executive Rex Comb described the results as an “encouraging start” to the new ownership of Eircom by Babcock & Brown and the Employee Share Ownership Trust (ESOT).

The company said that for the six months it reported fixed-line revenues of €833m, up 4pc on the corresponding period a year ago.

Eircom reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) before restructuring costs and disposal of property of €330m.

“Group revenues and EBITDA performance demonstrates the impact of the strategy outlined by the previous management team with solid contributions from both the fixed line and mobile segments,” said Comb.

“Customer numbers, both in broadband and mobile segments, have also witnessed strong progress. Together they provide an excellent platform to build on these results,” Comb added.

The company said that some €144m of capital expenditure has gone into increasing capacity, rolling out DSL and capital expenditure relating to Meteor.

It said that DSL customer stood at 325,000 customers as of 27 October last. Eircom chairman Pierre Danon spoke on RTE’s Morning Ireland programme this morning stating that the company aims to reach 500,000 broadband subscribers by the end of next year.

He added that the company will be investing in its next generation network whereby IP will be at the heart of everything Eircom does going forward.

In terms of Meteor, Eircom’s mobile arm, there were a total of 734,000 subscribers by the end of September, up17pc from 625,000 at the end of March. The mobile operator had an EBITDA of €24m at the end of September, which Eircom says is in line with expectations.

By John Kennedy