Eir reports Q3 revenues decline despite rise in earnings
Eir saw revenues decline by 1% to €307 million in the third quarter, according to third quarter results for the 2020 financial year.
However, earnings for the three months to 31 March increased by 5% to €154 million, and operating costs dropped 5% to €96 million in the same period.
Stating that these results fall “in line with expectations,” the telecoms group said growth has been consistent across its key performance indicators. It cited strong year-on-year increases in fibre broadband and postpay mobile customers, as well as quarter-on-quarter growth in TV customers.
Eir’s broadband base now totals 954,000 customers after growing 1% in the third quarter. Those using its fibre-based high-speed broadband services reached 748,000 in Q3, an increase of 9% year-on-year. It added that 78% of the company’s broadband base is now connected to its fibre network.
The launch of budget mobile carrier brand GoMo last year drove a 13% increase in mobile customers to 1.171 million in Q3.
Additionally, its postpay base saw a 35% year-on-year increase. Postpay subscribers now represent 65% of its total mobile base.
The firm said it boasts 77,000 Eir TV customers, which is a 3% increase on the previous quarter.
Eir’s 5G network is now available in 20 towns and cities across Ireland, while its outdoor coverage spans 28% of the country, up 3% from Q2. To date, its 4G population and geographical coverage are at 98% and 94% respectively.
Carolan Lennon, CEO, Eir, added that a further 40 new mobile network sites have gone live in the last six weeks.
“We have worked with the telecoms industry to introduce a range of common commitments to support our customers, including allowing them upgrade to unlimited packages where necessary and providing free access to various healthcare and educational resource websites,” said Lennon.
“We are engaging with and supporting customers who have found themselves in financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic in order that they remain connected to our network.
Eir’s €1 billion capital investment programme has played an crucial part in ensuring its mobile network remains strong and resilient, said Lennon. It intends to continue to roll out its programmes where it is safe to do so.
“We will continue our dedicated and determined work to ensure our network keeps Ireland connected, and we will continue to support our customers as we all adapt to new challenges and experience change. Our investment programme will continue in the coming months, where it is safe to do so, with plans to roll out 5G to every major town in Ireland and continue passing more homes and businesses with superfast fibre to the home broadband.”
Eir’s capital expenditure of €70 million in the third quarter was driven by the company’s continuing investment in fibre broadband as well as 4G and 5G mobile networks.
“In these challenging times the company continues to maintain a strong cash position, with a closing balance of €217 million in March, higher by €113 million from last quarter, and our liquidity position has been further strengthened by drawing down our €50 million credit facility,” said Stephen Tighe, CFO, Eir. “The company has reduced its average cost of debt by 17% in the last year and has an average debt maturity profile of approximately six years.”