Telecoms, internet and tv company Eir has reported a rise in revenue and earnings for its third financial quarter and for the nine months to the end of March. Eir has come a long way from its roots as a telecoms company and is now more of a broadband and broadcasting firm.
Eir's chief executive Richard Moat, in Dingle for the launch of a new innovation hub, said that media is becoming an increasingly important part of the company's activity.
"We have 67,000 people watching Eir Vision, 212,000 watching Eir Sport and we've launched a new app which allows mobile customers to watch Eir Sport for free," he said. Mr Moat said the company was moving towards an all IP (internet protocol) fixed line network and it wants to replace legacy copper with fibre over the coming years. "The key move with fibre at the moment is that we're rolling it out to 300,000 premises in rural Ireland and that will deliver 1GB connectivity to those homes and business."
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"Business is an integral part of that rollout and Dingle is one of a number of hubs we're hoping to create. It aims to bring high tech jobs to Dingle. Together with the rural rollout, it will help to build an ecosystem that's going to spread economic activity throughout the country," Mr Moat explained.
The Eir CEO said the 300,000 premises that Eir is hoping to provide fibre to by the end of 2018 were being removed from the National Broadband Plan footprint. "It was 850,000. That's now 550,000. This project is outside of National Broadband Plan process. It's our commercial rollout." He confirmed that Eir was still in the running for those contracts in a competitive process. "There are still two lots and we're playing a full part and want to win as much as we can," he concluded.
MORNING BRIEFS - Bank of Ireland is holding its Annual general meeting this morning. It will be Richie Boucher's last as CEO as he is stepping down before the end of the year. In a statement ahead of the meeting, the bank reported that it continued to trade in line with expectations in the first quarter with net interest margin - a key measure of profitability - up 3 basis points to 2.3%.
*** The finance sectors of Scotland and Ireland are informally joining forces to help protect companies from Brexit related uncertainties. The Scottish Irish Finance Initiative, a collaboration of industry experts and academics, was launched at the Irish consulate in Edinburgh last evening with the aim of fostering stronger finance links between the two countries. At least one Edinburgh based insurer - Standard Life - has said it is considering Dublin as its European hub post-Brexit. It comes as that news emerges ahead of this weekend's summit of EU leaders that work is being carried on a declaration recognising the potential for Irish reunification.
*** KBC Bank Ireland is cutting its prices on fixed rate mortgage products. From Tuesday, the back will be offering lower rates on two, three and five year fixed products with reductions varying from between 0.2 and 0.35%. Customers can get rates as low as 3.1% on a 3 year fixed product with a loan to value of between 80-90%.
*** The recent bull run on the tech heavy New York Nasdaq could be set to continue as four big names in the tech sphere posted impressive quarterly results. Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft both posted a 28% increase in profits, while at Amazon and Intel profits were up by over 40%.