Eircom speeds staff cuts to maintain profit growth

Irish operator Eircom will accelerate staff cuts planned for the year to March 2011 to maintain profit growth, despite reporting a 235% spike in 1Q10 profits.
Operating profit hit €231 million during the period compared to €69 million in 1Q09, but revenues fell 7% to €455 million and ebitda 3% to €170 million, due to tough economic and regulatory conditions in Ireland.
CEO Paul Donovan said the difficult environment means the firm must cut more costs, and that it has “moved to accelerate the achievement of our March 2011 headcount reduction target,” to help achieve that goal.
Mobile revenues fell by 5% in 1Q10, as the firm lost 21,000 subscribers during the quarter. Users of its PSTN lines fell by 15,000.
A deal to address a €407 million deficit in Eircom’s pension fund was approved by unions during the period, and the firm said the fund showed “a small surplus,” by end-March.