Wednesday 28 September 2016

Eir still faces challenges but does so in much better shape

Published 03/09/2016 | 02:30

Eir boss Richard Moat
Eir boss Richard Moat

Eir's newest shareholder, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, must be happy with the telco's latest annual performance.

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It paid €230m for a 16pc stake in the Irish business in June, leaving New York-based Anchorage with over 35pc.

Eir has made huge progress from being a basket case to one that is now a legitimate investment proposal. Despite the challenges it still faces, it's in the kind of financial shape now that seemed unattainable when it toiled under Examinership in 2012.

It has reshaped its remaining debt pile to slash interest costs but net debt is still a chunky €2.4bn. At 4.4 times EBITDA, that's much bigger than that of peers such as BT.

Capex continues apace. But while it will remain high for the next few years, by 2022 it is likely to fall sharply.

That will boost its cash position and the upgrades should already be resulting in meaningful revenue growth.

Irish Independent

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