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Eircom boss focuses on bundles business as company's third quarter sales slide 3pc

Eircom's revenue fell 3pc year-on-year in the third quarter, but rose 1pc compared to the second quarter of this year.

The company has suffered a long period of revenue decline but chief executive Richard Moat said the rate of decline has slowed significantly.

The company said that its mobile division was continuing to grow with sales up 2pc compared with the same period last year.

"Our bottom line performance remains in line with expectations, following a decision to make commercial investments this quarter that will deliver long term growth," Mr Moat said.

He told the Irish Independent that after shelving a mooted share sale the company plans to continue investing.

"We spent €750m over the last two years and we're going to spend €300m this year, and obviously that's been in rolling out high-speed fibre broadband where we go in to 1.6m homes, it's developing the 4G network where we've got more than 60pc population coverage and also launching TV."

He said the decision not to go ahead with the float was "vindicated by the significant downturn which took place in the equity markets immediately after that."

Mr Moat said the core of the company's commercial future will be bundled packages combining services like home phone, mobile, broadband and television.

"We really want to push those hard over the coming years and achieve the full potential in the business," he said.

"I think the media, entertainment and telecoms industries are all kind of merging and converging, it's an industry and market trend and we're playing our part in that."

He said that the company is comfortable with its current size after seeing 2,000 staff depart over the last two years.

Operating costs were down 6pc year-on-year in the quarter, while pay costs fell by 18pc.

"The focus of continuing cost reductions is going to be in non-pay areas.

"For example, we've recently consolidated on one customer service outsource provider rather than two, and we're looking at efficiencies in every single business area, whether it be logistics, transportation, billing, you name it we're looking at it."

Mr Moat said the company "clearly" wants to win the tender for the National Broadband Plan announced by the Government this week.

"I think it's a once in a generation opportunity to get high-speed broadband out to everybody in Ireland and we certainly would like to be the company to do that."

The broadband service is expected to go to tender at the end of next year.

Irish Independent