Irish former monopoly Eircom has reported a 7% year-on-year fall in revenue to EUR363 million (USD473.24 million) for its fiscal first-quarter ended 30 September 2012, although operating costs of EUR160 million were a 4% improvement on the same period in 2011. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) declined by EUR14 million (10%) from July-September 2011 to EUR124 million.
The group reported a total of 2.058 million customers at 30 September 2012, including 1.079 million mobile customers. In the cellular segment, Eircom recorded a 3% rise in connections from the prior year, mainly driven by continued strong post-pay growth; contract net additions totalled 20,000 in the company’s first quarter. However, mobile revenues continued to fall – by 5% for the quarter – although mobile EBITDA increased by EUR2 million year-on-year.
In the high speed internet access segment, Eircom shed 2,000 (4%) retail broadband connections in the period under review, for a total of 459,000. The telco’s fixed line (PSTN) customer base meanwhile, declined by 19,000 lines to 979,000 – a 9% reduction y-o-y. Eircom has also published more information on the locations of the next 300,000 homes and businesses in the Republic that will receive fibre broadband. The additional premises cover towns and districts in Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow. Eircom claims that the fibre-optic network will reach one million premises by December 2014.
Commenting on the result, the company’s new CEO Herb Hribar said: ‘The performance of the business continues to decline, but the decline is slowing and is in line with our expectations and our business plan … We remain fully committed to our cost reduction targets and believe that the reduction in 2,000 employees is achievable within the two year timeframe … The recent launch of our converged broadband and mobile bundle demonstrates our commitment to offer customers real value with innovative new products. Early trading indicates strong customer take up ahead of projections and we plan to continue to retain and win back customers in what is a very competitive telecoms market operating with a difficult economic backdrop.’