In publishing its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2017, Irish fixed line incumbent eir has highlighted the progress made so far with its fibre-based rollout, revealing that it has now passed 1.6 million premises with FTTx technologies. With this current level of coverage having been achieved on the back of investment totalling EUR518 million (USD565 million) to date, the telco says its current rollout programme is now 85% complete, and it claims to be on track to pass 1.9 million premises with fibre by the end of 2018.
Moreover, eir notes that its fibre initiative will continue with a focus on fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), noting that 82,000 premises now have access via this technology, with 44,000 of those related to a government contract signed earlier this month under which it said it would roll out the technology to 300,000 premises in rural Ireland. Given the current coverage level, eir has said it expects to have reached the agreed coverage target for FTTH by December 2018.
In terms of uptake, meanwhile, eir reports that 33% of the premises passed by a fibre-based service have now signed up, with subscriptions totalling 530,000 fibre-based connections at end-March 2017, up from 394,000 a year earlier; of the most recent total 269,000 were retail connections, with the remainder wholesale. Total fixed broadband accesses numbered 890,000 at the end of 1Q17, up 6.5% year-on-year, while ‘group access lines’ stood at 1.36 million, up from 1.35 million at end-March 2016. In the mobile arena, eir had 1.06 million subscribers, down marginally from the 1.08 million reported in 1Q16, with 48% of the current total signed up to a post-paid tariff.
In financial terms, underlying revenue before mobile termination rates (MTRs) and foreign exchange movements was EUR325 million in the quarter under review, up 1% y-o-y, while reported turnover was EUR319 million, down by 1%. Group EBITDA in 1Q17 totalled EUR131 million, an annual increase of 10%, meanwhile, with eir reporting an EBITDA margin of 41%.