Earnings at the Irish arm of mobile phone giant, Vodafone last year increased by 1.4% to €175.3 million.

According to accounts just filed with the Companies Office, Vodafone Ireland Ltd recorded the increase in Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) as revenues increased by 1.4% to €946.5m in the 12 months to the end of March last.

The firm, led by Cork native, Anne O'Leary, is the market leader in Ireland concerning telecommunications with 2.3 million customers across mobile, broadband, fixed line and TV.

Numbers employed at the firm last year went up from 1,048 to 1,067 as staff costs increased by 7.5% from €93 million to €100 million.

Pay to directors last year decreased from €2.29 million to €2.09 million made up of €1.7 million, €255,000 in pension payments and €52,000 in pension contributions.

The company recorded a pre-tax loss of €5 million after enjoying a pre-tax profit of €5.6 million in 2018 fiscal year.

The pre-tax loss takes account of non-cash depreciation and amortisation charges of €166.6 million.

The directors state that the increase in revenues was driven, in part, by contract mobile phone base growth.

The directors state that its customers now have 1.1 million devices 4G enabled and this is reflected in a 26% year-on-year growth in new 4G enabled plans.

The company's cost of sales decreased from €430.3 million to €426 million with operating costs increasing from €329.7 million to €344.5 million.

The directors state that "while the operating environment remains challenging Vodafone continues to evolve and innovate in order to remain relevant and to deliver value to our customers. By doing so, we continue to maintain a strong and robust business model".

A breakdown of the employees shows 159 employed in sales and distribution; 348 in marketing; 157 in customer operations; 152 in networks; 69 in billing; 103 in finance, 50 in other staff functions and 29 in human resources.

The firm's shareholder funds at the end of last March stood at €657 million. The company's cash pile decreased during the year from €11.26 million to €10.33 million.

Reporting by Gordon Deegan