eir CEO dismisses rivals' complaints over broadband prices

The country's largest telecoms company has reported a return to annualised revenue growth after eight years...

eir CEO dismisses rivals' complaints over broadband prices

Photo: PA Images

Eir announced a 4% increase in revenue growth to €1.3 billion for the year today, as chief executive Richard Moat rejected the suggestion that it was raising revenues on the backs of its rival telecom firms.

When it was pointed out to Moat by Vincent Wall on Breakfast Business that eir has increased the price of its fibre broadband to carry their services by 31% in the last year alone, Moat said:

"We provide services to a number of other operators and if you look at our growth in broadband, we've now got 854,000 broadband customers and we had growth of 72,000.

"Almost all of that was coming from our competitors so I think we provide a very good service to them and their growth is using the infrastructure which we invest a lot of money in providing.

"So I think they're getting value for money."

Alto, the umbrella group representing non-eir operators such as Sky and Vodafone, has said that the price increase will be added on to the cost of consumers' broadband prices.

It stated:

"These unjustified price increases ultimately push prices up for everyone in a market where eir is the monopoly provider of wholesale broadband.

"In Ireland, broadband prices already benchmark high by European standards and this is viewed as a very cynical move by the industry and Alto members, to further enlarge eir’s profits following the recent regulated enforced price reduction for their legacy product."

"Turned a corner"

The eir CEO was pleased with his company's results, saying:

"The 4% growth in revenue and 5% growth in earnings, that's five consecutive growth of earnings and revenue now...

"That's the first time we've seen revenue growth in the full year for eight years. I think we've really turned the corner in establishing a sustainable trend here."

Eir also took the opportunity to announce that eir Sport (formerly Setanta) will be showing all six matches of Dundalk FC's upcoming Europa League games free to view. When asked whether the company would move towards producing their own content, Moat responded:

"Glen Killane is joining us from RTÉ. He's going to head up our TV operations and I think obviously he'll have a big impact on the strategy which we pursue there. So that's going to evolved over the coming months."

While he stated that a flotation was unlikely for eir within the next two years, he said that it was possible "at some stage in the future, certainly" if the trend of growth continues.