Thursday 23 November 2017

Turnover at Enet jumps 26pc to post profit after tax of €2.9m

TELECOMS

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

ENET, the privately owned company that manages the State's metropolitan area fibre network, hopes to begin paying a dividend to shareholders -- including venture-capital company ACT -- within two years. It has posted a sharp rise in profitability during its last financial year.

Releasing full-year results yesterday for the 12 months to the end of April, Enet said that its turnover jumped 26pc to €17.5m, while after-tax profit climbed 70pc to €2.9m.

The company manages metropolitan area networks (MANs) in 94 towns and cities around the country. The networks provide high-speed data services and Enet has a number of contracts with companies such as Vodafone, Imagine, UPC, O2 and BT Ireland.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Enet chief executive Conal Henry said the amount of data carried on the MANs almost doubled over the past year and that many clients were now seeking to secure very high-speed data access to their premises.

This is the second year that Enet has turned a profit, having done so for the first time in the 2010 financial year.

The MANs were built using taxpayers' money, at a cost of roughly €160m.

Dividend

Mr Henry confirmed that he was hopeful of being able to pay a dividend to shareholders within about two years, depending on continuing capital requirements.

Dublin-based ACT Venture Capital owns about one-third of Enet, while Limerick-based developer Michael Tiernan and his wife Maeve own another third. The remainder is controlled by a number of smaller investors and Enet management. Mr Tiernan owns Marchfield Properties.

Mr Henry also said that Enet has been exploring the possibility of delivering fibre directly to about 10,000 homes in Letterkenny, Co Donegal in a move that would cost between €10m and €15m.

However, he stressed that Enet was still examining what would be a tough business case for the investment and that it was far from certain that such a deployment would proceed.

Letterkenny has also been chosen by Eircom as one of the towns where it is installing next-generation broadband technology.

Earlier this year, Enet announced plans to invest €25m in broadband infrastructure over the next 10 years, creating about 50 jobs.

Irish Independent

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