Eircom slows revenue decline – commits to bringing fibre to extra 200k premises

29 Aug 2014

Eircom CEO Herb Hribar

While its revenues fell 6pc to €1.2bn for the full year, Eircom says its revenue declines are slowing. The telecoms operator reported its eighth consecutive quarter of EBITDA stability.

The operator’s CEO Herb Hribar also revealed 200,000 additional homes will be included in its fibre rollout plan, growing its fibre network target from 1.4m homes and businesses to a new target of 1.6m premises by 2016.

Eircom’s fibre network is estimated to pass 1m homes across Ireland.

EBIDTDA (earnings before interest and taxes) for the full financial year was down 1pc to €479m, before storm costs were taken into account.

Eircom’s retail customer base, comprising fixed and mobile, stood at 1.8m customers at 30 June 2014 and includes 1.05m mobile customers.

In terms of broadband, Eircom reported it had 718,000 broadband connections, up 7.5pc on last year.

This includes 133,000 connections via its fibre network which now passes around 1m homes.

Eircom’s retail division counted 456,000 broadband customers, up 1pc on last year, while broadband lines within its wholesale business grew 20pc to 44,000 to a total of 262,000 lines.

Eircom said its operating costs were €814m for the year, a 10pc improvement on last year.

Mobile continues to be a considerable cash cow for the operator, with EBITDA doubling to €36m, despite revenue declining 2pc to €347m.

Post-pay mobile now accounts for more than 40pc of Eircom’s mobile base, up 33pc on last year.

Eircom said it now has 65,000 customers on its 4G network and 70pc of post-pay sales have been on 4G price plans in recent months.

Eircom to expand fibre rollout

“The past 12 months underline real and sustained progress in the transformation of Eircom both in our financial performance and our product offerings to our customers,” said Hribar.

“We have now had eight consecutive quarters of EBITDA stability, slowing decline in our revenues and an improved cost base.”

Hribar said network investment continues at pace in Eircom’s fixed and mobile groups.

“We were the first to market with a quadruple play bundle of services, including our new eVision TV offering and the first to market with 4G mobile services.

“Our rollout of Ireland’s largest fibre network, which already reaches more than 900,000 homes and businesses, remains on schedule and on budget – demonstrating that Eircom has the expertise to build a fit-for-purpose, scalable and future-proofed network throughout Ireland. Today we are accelerating our rollout and now expect to reach 1.4m premises by December 2015.”

Hribar said Eircom is going to be making an additional investment in its fibre rollout over the coming two years, adding an additional 200,000 premises to its fibre rollout across Ireland.

“This includes the deployment of fibre to the home technology, supporting symmetrical speeds of up to 1Gb to locations in Ireland where we see demand emerging. In addition, we are expanding the overall fibre footprint to 1.6m premises, ensuring more customers across Ireland will be able to avail of fibre broadband. Our rollout should be completed by December 2016.”

Fiber optic cables, via Roshan Nikam on Flickr

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