Rugby and UFC help Eir attract new customers

The Irish firm has reported strong growth

Rugby and UFC help Eir attract new customers

Conor McGregor. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tom Hogan

Eir has released its results for the second half of 2016 - it reports underlying revenue and EBITDA growth for the quarter of 2% and 4% respectively.

These figures both increased by 2% during the six months, as underlying revenue grew to €666m for the year to date.

Its operating costs reduced by €3m or 2% year-on-year during the final quarter.

500,000 customers were using its fibre based high speed broadband service at the end of December - representing growth of 36,000 customers during the quarter.

Eir also highlights the role that the launch of Eir Sport (formerly Setanta) has had on its business expanding, saying, "We have a fantastic set of content rights which we are using to differentiate our consumer broadband offering. Eir Sport subscriber numbers have increased significantly, driven by exclusive content such as the historic Ireland versus New Zealand rugby match and the McGregor UFC fights, and there are now over 200,000 customers watching eir Sport across a range of platforms."

The former Eircom, which is rebuilding its balance sheet ahead of a likely new stockmarket flotation in the next two years, says its rural fibre broadband rollout is well underway and is on track to pass 1.9 million premises by the end of 2018.

Eir has rejected ongoing criticism that it’s cherry-picking the premises chooses to connect to its fibre network ahead of the Government-sponsored National Broadband Plan, for which it's tendering against two competitors.

Richard Moat, CEO Eir, said: "We remain focused on network investment, bundling and convergence, with all these initiatives underpinning our successful transformation from a telephony to a media company."

Additional reporting by Vincent Wall