The growth in new domain registrations helped to drive a registration fee income of €2.66m for Ireland’s .ie Domain Registry (IEDR), which manages the .ie top-level domain. However, the IEDR reported a near 10pc drop in operating profits of €357,967.
The IEDR said today that total .ie domains at the end of 2011 stood at 173,145, up 13pc, while there was an 8pc increase in new .ie domain registrations totalling 39,398.
An operating profit of €357,968 was down 9.8pc and operating costs increased 6.7pc.
The registry’s overall market share in Ireland increased to 42.8pc.
The rate of non-renewals of .ie domains fell to 12.8pc.
Members’ funds exceeded €3m for the first time and at €3.3m is the equivalent of 14.5 months’ fee income.
Getting Irish firms online
IEDR CEO David Curtin said the key focus for the year ahead is to continue to provide resources to encourage Irish SMEs and microenterprises to register .ie domains. For example, the registry launched a €100,000 Optimise fund to boost e-commerce activity among small firms.
“It is not clear why so many thousands of small businesses in Ireland remain effectively offline. Anecdotal evidence suggests: a perceived complexity and cost, the level of time commitment required, a reluctance to engage with multiple software vendors, and/or an absence of obvious business benefits.
“Further research is needed to guide policy-makers on how to improve internet usage and uptake in the small business community.
“In the meantime, the company will continue to work with its partners and stakeholders to help digitise the nation, especially the small-business community and ensure that the benefits of the website and e-commerce virtuous circle continue to flow,” Curtin said.