Irish multi-service operator (MSO) eir has published its financials for the six months ended 31 December 2018, saying its results were ‘in line with expectations’. In the first half of its current fiscal year the MSO generated a turnover of EUR634 million (USD543 million), down 1% year-on-year, with a 6% annualised decline in fixed line revenue more than offsetting a 2% increase in mobile turnover. Meanwhile, EBITDA reached EUR279 million in H1 2019, up 32% y-o-y, which eir said had been driven by strong savings in operating costs, which fell to EUR213 million in the six-month period (H1 2018: EUR245 million). Capital expenditures for H1 2019 totalled EUR113 million.
In operating terms, eir cited ‘encouraging KPI growth’, with it adding 25,000 broadband subscribers in the year to 31 December 2018, to bring its total to 936,000 at that date. Of this figure, 465,000 were retail subscribers, up from 440,000 a year earlier, with the remaining 471,000 being wholesale accesses. With regards to access types, eir also confirmed that 670,000 customers were using its fibre-based broadband services at the end of the reporting period, up 75,000 y-o-y. eir’s fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) network footprint, meanwhile, was confirmed to have reached 1.6 million by the end of 2018, with a further 307,000 premises passed by fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) at that same date. Combined, the operator’s fibre infrastructures were said to pass 79% of the country’s premises. Looking ahead, the rollout of FTTH to 1.4 million premises across ‘urban and suburban Ireland’ is scheduled to begin in July 2019.
Turning to mobile, eir Mobile reported a subscriber base of 1.045 million for end-2018, representing a 1% y-o-y decline, though it was keen to note an improvement in its post-paid mix, with contract customers accounting for 53.3% of its mobile subscriber total at end-2018, up from 49.3% a year earlier. In coverage terms, eir said it mobile network reached 96% of the population at end-2018. With a view to boosting this to 99% within the next two years, the MSO reiterated plans to invest EUR150 million in mobile infrastructure; these funds will be spent on upgrading 2,000 sites with the latest technology to improve both coverage and data speeds, while an additional 500 sites are expected to be brought online.