State-contracted emergency comms company reports 8% rise in profits

State-contracted emergency comms company reports 8% rise in profits
A garda at the scene of a fire in Drimnagh, Dublin in May. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie.

Pre-tax profits at the company which operates the State contract to provide secure communications amongst emergency services and other State agencies last year increased by 8% to €16.3m.

New accounts filed by Tetra Ireland Communications Ltd show that the company recorded the increase in profits after revenues went up by 7.5% from €36.6m to €39.2m in the 12 months to the end of June last.

Tetra Ireland owns and operates the state’s National Digital Radio Service (NDRS) and its users include daa, the Revenue Commissioners, the Gardai, the Irish Prison Service and the Irish Coastguard.

Eircom Ltd has a 56% share in the company and other shareholders include Sigma Communications Group - 25% and US based Motorola Solutions - 19%.

Tetra Ireland Communications Ltd paid out a dividend of €19m last year and this followed a dividend of €14m in 2018 The company provides Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) and its key attributes includes fully encrypted voice and data communications; extensive radio coverage and highly resilient network in the event of any major disaster.

According to the directors’ report, the operational performance of the network continues to be very strong with all of the contracted service levels as set out in the NDRS contract exceeded during each year of operation.

The directors state that during the year a number of additional emergency service organisations went live on the NDRS while the company continues to increase users from existing agencies.

The directors state that revenues increased by €2.7m from €36.6m to €39.3m driven by additional subscription revenues and hardware deliveries while operating costs increased by €1.5m to €22.9m The directors further state that the contract to operate the emergency communications network has been extended to December 2020.

They state that the annual Emergency Services Digital Radio (ESDR) Licence is renewed until August 2020.

They state: “As the tender for a new contract post December 2020 has not been issued, the company is of the view that the Government has no other viable alternative other than to continue with the company as the provider for the emergency communication services post December 2020, for at least, until the end of June 2023.”

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