Saturday 19 October 2019

Eircom chief happy with progress despite 11pc fall in revenue

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

EIRCOM says it is making progress despite an 11pc slide in revenues.

The chief financial officer at Eircom has insisted the company is working to address the "underlying fundamentals of the business" as losses in the third quarter continued to mount.

The telecoms firm – which last year exited what was Ireland's biggest ever examinership process – said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) slid 11pc to €122m as it continued to restructure.

Revenue fell 10pc to €338m, with Eircom's fixed-line business remaining challenged.

Eircom, which recently agreed the sale of its Phonewatch business, said revenue at its fixed-line unit fell 11pc in the third quarter to €267m, while EBITDA declined 12pc to €116m. Its mobile operations, including Meteor, fared somewhat better, but revenue still declined 6pc in the period, while EBITDA rose by €5m.

It did not break out additional figures for the segment.

COSTS

Overall operating costs fell 4pc year-on-year to €153m in the three months to the end of March.

"While revenues continue to decline, we are making progress to address the underlying fundamentals of the business," said chief financial officer Richard Moat.

He said Eircom was outperforming the market in the post-pay element of the mobile business, while the group's costs continued to decline.

The company recently launched a new fibre-broadband product that it is hoping will enable it to effectively compete with rivals, including UPC. It is also planning to launch a streaming TV service in the autumn.

"The business continues to perform in line with our expectations as we make progress to stem our customer losses, and revenue decline. However, trading conditions remain challenging," said chief executive Herb Hribar.

Following its examinership last year – which saw its debt pile cut from €4bn to €2.35bn – investment group Blackstone controls 20pc of the firm. Eircom paid €63m in fees to lawyers and advisers during the process.

Irish Independent

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