Irish telco Smart Telecom posted a 97% rise in revenues to EUR24.9 million in 2004, on the back of strong growth from its wholesale line rental, carrier pre-select residential telephony, payphone and pre-paid card services activities. The operator, which claims to be one of the fastest growing providers of residential, business and Metro telecommunications services in Ireland, says it now has more than 70,000 residential customers. Profits for the year to 31 December rose from EUR4.9 million to EUR6.8 million, although higher administration costs led to a widening operating loss of EUR8.1 million from EUR4.5 million previously. Pre-tax losses also grew from EUR8.3 million to EUR10.7 million due to increased marketing expenses and recruitment costs.
Nonetheless, Smart Telecom chief executive officer Oisin Fanning was upbeat on his company’s performance saying he was pleased ‘to report a year of major progress in the transformation of Smart Telecom into a mainstream provider of broadband-based telecommunications services in the Irish market.’ Smart’s announcement coincides with a separate press release in which it claims to have raised around EUR20 million from the investment community to fund the rollout of broadband services to up to 100,000 new customers. The firm, which is listed on the London AIM, set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to raise the funding and claims the process has been ‘strongly supported’ by existing shareholders and new investors. Smart Telecom is making an indent in the Irish corporate broadband market, signing up 150 major accounts to date.