Eircom Group today published its financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended 31 March 2013. Noting that its trading performance continues in line with expectations, the former monopoly reported revenues of EUR338 million (USD435.9 million) for the period under review, down 10% or EUR37 million on the corresponding year-ago quarter. Operating costs were EUR153 million, down EUR7 million on an annualised basis, which helped contribute to an overall reduction in costs of EUR24 million in the year to date. Notwithstanding the cost savings, Eircom reported that EBITDA fell 11%, or EUR15 million, to EUR122 million.
On the operational front, the carrier reported a retail (fixed and mobile) customer base of 2.006 million at 31 March 2013, including 1.066 million cellular customers. The group’s overall customer base including wholesale customers stood at 2.406 million at the same date. The mobile base declined by 2% in the January-March quarter, although Eircom reported signing 15,000 net additions in the higher value post-paid segment, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 67,000 contract customers. However, revenues derived from mobile operations fell by 6% for the quarter, although mobile EBITDA grew by EUR5 million it said, more than double compared to the corresponding period in 2012.
In the fixed line segment, turnover slumped 11% for the quarter to EUR267 million, which the company said was reflected in a corresponding 12% decline in fixed line EBITDA to EUR116 million – when compared to the previous year. Eircom closed out March with a total of 455,000 retail broadband customers, a 1% decrease on the figure reported at 31 December 2012. The PSTN customer base fell to 940,000 at the same date, a reduction of 24,000 customers in the quarter.
Commenting on the results Eircom Group chief executive, Herb Hribar, said: ’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 due to increased competition and the macro-economic environment … Work continues at pace as we execute on our investment strategy to build a network for a nation that supports superfast fibre and mobile broadband for consumers and businesses. Since the conclusion of the reporting period, we have successfully launched our fibre broadband network and eFibre, which offers customers broadband speeds of up to 70Mbps. The network is already available to more than 325,000 homes and businesses throughout the country and we are on track to pass 600,000 by the end of December 2013 … The launch of eFibre underlines the Group’s ability to deliver quality products, competitively bundled together. We will also start trialling high speed 4G data services at scale in the coming months with an anticipated commercial offering this September.’