Communications group Eir has announced a 3% rise in earnings in the six months to the end of December, despite a dip in revenue.

The company's revenues fell by €17m - or 3% - to €617m during the half year, as the number of traditional landline customers dipped and the price of wholesale fibre broadband was lowered.

However Eir also cut operating costs by €22m - or 10% - in the period to €191m as it continued to streamline its business.

That left the group with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €287m - up €8m or 3%.

Eir said that 455,000 premises had been passed with fibre-to-the-home by the end of last year, up 48%.

Meanwhile it also saw growth in the number of people taking up multiple service bundles.

"The last quarter of 2019 was a busy finish to what was a year of transformation at eir, with new services, new investment and new energy and excitement in the business, providing strong momentum as we move into 2020 and beyond," said Eir CEO Carolan Lennon. 

"Eir is by far the largest investor in telecoms in Ireland and our €1 billion capital investment programme continues to deliver very real improvements for our customers, bringing superfast broadband to their homes and businesses, transforming their mobile experience on Ireland's largest 5G network, and bringing to market revolutionary new services such as GoMo and eir TV."