Meteor captures 14pc of mobile market

16 Feb 2006

Eircom this morning reported third quarter revenues of €424m, up from €399m a year ago. As of 9 February, the company said it had some 215,000 broadband subscribers and that its newly acquired Meteor mobile subsidiary had some 565,000 subscribers, up 66pc year on year.

The inclusion of Meteor results for one month, says Eircom chief executive Dr Philip Nolan, contributed largely to Eircom’s revenue growth.

“As we face the strategic challenges of positioning Eircom for future growth, these results demonstrate solid progress towards our strategic goals of defending our fixed-line base, growing broadband and re-entering the mobile market.

Nolan said the results showed group revenue up €27m at €1.2bn for the nine months, but with EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) down 4pc, or €17m, to €440m over the period.

“There are two factors that explain the EBITDA reduction. Firstly, in common with other incumbents, Eircom faces margin contraction due to increasing competition. Secondly, we are investing to drive increased DSL and line penetration to grow future revenue. These actions yield win-back rates of 78pc and a DSL customer base of 215,000 on 9 February,” Nolan said.

Looking back on the last nine months, which saw Eircom complete its acquisition of Meteor, the company said it made some €171m worth of capital expenditure (capex) focusing particularly on DSL rollout.

“Meteor’s performance in the last quarter has been exceptionally strong. Subscriber numbers have grown to 565,000, up 66pc year on year,” Nolan said. “We estimate Meteor’s market share by subscriber at close to 14pc, well on its way to our 20pc target. Post-paid subscribers now make up 6pc of the base and accounted for 12pc of the net adds in the last quarter. Meteor has thus established a strong position from which we can build a significant mobile presence.

“These results illustrate how Eircom is laying the foundations on which to create a growing business as a provider of the full range of telecoms services. The acquisition and integration of Meteor is already demonstrating success and we are investing to grow new fixed-line revenues in broadband,” Nolan concluded.

By John Kennedy