Has Magnet lost its attraction? ISP posts EUR4m loss in 2015

7 Oct 2016

Magnet Networks, the Irish broadband provider owned by Irish-American entrepreneur Ken Peterson via Columbia Ventures Corporation, reported net losses of EUR4.0 million (USD4.5 million) in FY2015, reversing net profit of EUR15.6 million the previous year, as revenues fell to EUR12.3 million from EUR12.8 million. The Irish Times cites a new company accounts filing as saying that despite the challenging domestic telecoms market, Magnet Networks continues to operate on an ‘EBITDA-positive basis’ and expects that to continue in 2016. ‘The Irish telecoms market remained a very tough competitive environment in 2015; however, in line with the broader economy being experienced we did see a halt in the decline in market size, the first such positive trend reversal in over five years,’ the company said. Last year, Magnet stopped offering its internet protocol television (IPTV) services to the residential segment, noting that the service was having a negative impact on revenues. Finally, the accounts illustrated that the altnet reported a ‘potential deferred tax asset’ of EUR11.9 million as a result of trading losses incurred. It reports that this asset: ‘has not been recognised as it is uncertain when the company will generate sufficient trading profits to utilise the losses forward’.

The accounts confirm that as of today, Magnet employs 66 people and continues to focus on the business-to-business (B2B) market which it says remains the ‘key’ growth focus area for the company’s Republic business, offering stronger margins and lower churn than the residential segment. As of end-December 2015 Magnet Network’s network reach in Ireland comprised 40 unbundled eir exchanges, and 32 fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) residential housing developments in Dublin, and in the counties of Laois and Meath.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in March this year Magnet Networks acquired the retail business division of local WiMAX operator Imagine Communications in an all-cash transaction. The purchase saw Magnet’s business unit grow to 11,000 SMEs and corporate customers, simultaneously boosting the operator to a total of 95 staff, including 17 from the acquired company. Imagine’s decision to sell its retail business division was said to form part of its strategic focus on the national rollout of its new 4G LTE network. Magnet comprises two Irish and one UK divisions: Magnet Business, Magnet Residential and London-based Velocity1 Limited.

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