The .ie Domain Registry today reported an 8.1pc hike in .ie domain registrations to 37,055 during 2008. Total .ie domains increased 17.3pc to 135,903 year-on year.
The once troubled IEDR is in rude health despite the economic travails Ireland finds itself in and under the stewardship of CEO David Curtin, operating costs have fallen by 9pc.
The organisation, which reports to ComReg, revealed that .ie domain prices remain 60pc lower than in 2003 and the .ie namespace is, according to security experts McAfee, the second safest in the world.
Recession gives rise to new online businesses
There is also some anecdotal evidence suggesting that part of the growth is down to new online businesses established by workers who have been made redundant.
Last year, the registry reported that it became necessary to write down the value of its long-term financial investments owing to the fall in their value in line with prevailing global stock market conditions.
During 2009, the value of these investments saw an uplift of €87,453, which, combined with the strong core trading performance, has meant that Members’ Funds rose to €2.29m from €1.84m, ensuring that the registry remains financially well-resourced.
Increased Members’ Funds will enable the IEDR to invest further in the development of the .ie namespace, it said today.
The first half of 2010 performed strongly, with 19,099 .ie domains registered between January and June, while 8,895 .ie domains were registered in the third quarter. The total number of .ie domains at the end of September stood at just more than 149,000.
Despite difficult trading conditions in the Irish economy, in particular the SME community, the company’s current trading performance looks positive, Curtin said.
“(The year) 2009 was an extremely tough year for the Irish economy so we are particularly pleased to have been in a position to grow registrations, reduce our operating costs and increase operating profit for the registry,” said Curtin.
“The operating profit has strengthened our balance sheet further. This will enable us to increase investment in the .ie domain by providing new services and infrastructural improvements that will deliver even greater security, stability and resilience of the .ie namespace.
“It was particularly satisfying for all stakeholders that the IEDR efforts in this regard were externally validated by the now annual McAfee Mapping the Mal Web report, which found that the .ie domain is the second safest in the world.
“Looking ahead to the outturn for 2010, the prolonged difficulties facing our main market, SMEs, will continue to impact on registration and non-renewal levels. However, underlying demand remains and we will continue to assist our registrar community with both generic and specific promotional activities to ensure that the .ie namespace remains the domain of choice in the Irish domain market,” Curtin said.