Irish communications provider eir has published its results for the six-month period ended 31 December 2019, revealing a 3% year-on-year decline in revenues. For the first half of its current fiscal year (which ends 30 June 2020), eir reported total group turnover of EUR617 million (USD666 million), noting that growth in the revenue from broadband, data services, and bundling was offset by a reduction in access, voice, managed services, and mobile revenue. Fixed line revenues totalled EUR460 million, representing a 3% annualised decline, while mobile turnover was 1% lower than in 1H19 at EUR173 million. Despite the revenue decline, eir’s adjusted EBITDA for the period under review stood at EUR289 million, up 1% year-on-year, with the company saying this increase had been driven by continued operating cost savings. To that end, eir reported that group operating costs for 1H20 totalled EUR326 million, a reduction of EUR21 million (or 7%) from the corresponding period a year earlier.
In operational terms, eir’s broadband customer base at 31 December 2019 numbered 947,000, up 1% from a year earlier, with an increase in its wholesale customer base (up 26,000 y-o-y or 6%) more than offsetting a reduction in retail accesses (down 15,000 or 3%). The telco also noted that it now has 730,000 customers connecting via a fibre-based broadband service, compared to 670,000 at end-2018. With regards to fibre coverage, eir said that its rollout of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology had reached 455,000 premises, up from 307,000 at end-2018, while the number of premises passed by fibre-to-the-cabinet stood at 1.5 million at the end of last year.
Meanwhile, eir reported a mobile subscriber base of 1.137 million as at end-2019, a notable increase on the 1.045 million reported a year earlier; such growth was reportedly spurred by the launch of eir’s new MVNO unit, GoMo, in October 2019. In terms of its mobile network developments, eir noted that its 5G services were now available in 20 towns and cities, representing around 25% of the population. 4G coverage has also continued to be improved, with 98% of the population within the network footprint (Dec-18: 96%) and, having upgraded more than 500 base stations, geographic 4G coverage stood at 92% at end-2019.