Irish fixed line incumbent eir has published its financial results for its financial year ending 30 June 2019, revealing a 2% year-on-year decline in revenue to EUR1.25 billion (USD1.37 billion), attributed to ‘regulatory FTTC pricing changes, a decline in fixed access and managed services revenue, and increased promotional activity to drive retail subscriber growth’. The lion’s share of revenue – EUR939 million – was generated by the company’s fixed line services, down 3% on an annualised basis, and more than offsetting a 2% increase in turnover from mobile services, which rose to EUR344 million. Meanwhile, total group EBITDA for the twelve-month period under review was EUR578 million, up 10% y-o-y, with the improvement underpinned by a 14% reduction in operating costs, to EUR406 million. Capital expenditures for the year totalled EUR270 million, down 13% y-o-y.
In operational terms, eir reported a total of 1.317 million access paths at 30 June 2019, down from 1.340 million a year earlier, including: 648,000 retail access lines (Jun-18: 654,000); 475,000 wholesale access lines (496,000); 3,000 wholesale LLU (4,000). With regards to broadband lines, the telco said it had 944,000 at mid-2019, comprising 464,000 retail connections and 480,000 wholesale. In the mobile sector, eir reported a total subscriber base of 1.023 million, down from 1.047 million at mid-2018, of which 451,000 were pre-paid, 537,000 post-paid and 35,000 mobile broadband only customers.
Turning to the progress of its fibre network rollout, eir said its infrastructure now passed 1.9 million premises, or 81% of all homes and businesses, with 36% of those premises passed connected. Specifically, the telco noted that fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology had been made available to a total of 375,000 premises – including more than 308,000 as part of its rural rollout – up from 242,000 a year earlier. Alongside this, eir noted that a EUR150 million investment designed to upgrade and expand its mobile network by 25% was ‘well underway’. According to the telco extensive upgrades and new sites had been made live across 16 counties, and it has said it expects to achieve 99% geographical 4G coverage within two years, providing downlink speeds of up to 350Mbps. 5G services, meanwhile, are expected to launch in five unnamed major cities ‘later in 2019’.