Eircom third-quarter revenues fall by €37m

30 May 2013

Incumbent telecoms operator Eircom reported a €37m decline in third-quarter revenues of €338m, a 10pc drop.

Operating costs were €153m for the quarter, down €7m from the prior year, a 4pc improvement.

EBITDA decreased by €15m on the prior year to €122m for the quarter, down 11pc on the same period in 2011.

The retail customer base, comprising fixed and mobile customers, stood at just more than 2m at the end of March and includes 1m mobile customers.

The total customer base, including wholesale customers, totalled 2.4m at the end of March.

In terms of broadband, Eircom reported a 1pc decrease in broadband subscribers to 455,000 retail customers. “Work continues at pace as we execute on our investment strategy to build a network for a nation that supports superfast fibre and mobile broadband for consumers and businesses,” Eircom CEO Herb Hribar said.

“Since the conclusion of the reporting period, we have successfully launched our fibre broadband network and eFibre, which offers customers broadband speeds of up to 70Mbps. The network is already available to more than 325,000 homes and businesses throughout the country and we are on track to pass 600,000 by the end of December 2013.”

He also said Eircom will be in a position to launch its 4G data services in September.

Eircom’s PSTN customer base fell to 940,000, a reduction of 24,000 customers in the quarter.

In the mobile segment, the group’s customers fell by 2pc in the quarter to 1,066,000 through the end of March 2013.

Mobile revenues continued to decline by 6pc for the quarter but mobile EBITDA grew by €5m, more than double compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

“We have taken a number of recent steps to improve the capital structure of the group. We raised a €350m senior bond and reduced the group’s net debt while diversifying our funding sources,” CFO Richard Moat said.

“This was an important endorsement by the market that supports our strategy across both fixed and mobile platforms. We also sold Eircom PhoneWatch to Sector Alarm Corporation of Norway as it was no longer a core business activity.

“While revenues continue to decline, we are making progress to address the underlying fundamentals of the business,” Moat said.

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