‘Buying Irish’ helps boost profits at directory enquiries firm

Pre-tax profits at directory enquiry firm, 11890, last year increased more than four fold to €688,177, new figures show.

According to accounts filed by the Dublin-based Call 11890 Ltd, they show that the firm increased its pre-tax profits by 308% from €168,318 to €688,177 in the 12 months to May 31,2011.

The abridged accounts show that the firm’s gross profit increased by 54% from €1m to €1.67m last year.

Founder and chief executive of the firm, Nicola Byrne said yesterday that she is “very pleased” with how the company performed last year.

Ms Byrne confirmed that revenues remained static last year and said: “We were more profitable last year because we became better at what we do and we have invested a lot in technology.”

The firm is the only exclusively-Irish based and owned directory enquiry firm with offices based in Dublin and Galway where numbers employed dropped from 79 to 61.

Rival directory enquiry firm, 11850 has its main call centre for Ireland located in the Philippines after shutting down its Dublin call centre in 2010.

Ms Byrne said: “The ‘Buy Irish’ message from us started to resonate with people here last year and it gained traction.”

Ms Byrne said that the firm’s recent promotion of free calls from Eircom landlines for three months increased its market share to around 23%. “We have taken a hit with that, but our profits will be in or our around what we had last year as we were ahead of where we were last year in terms of profits before the promotion.

“We have taken an existing business, but we just do it better. There is no science in this. We don’t see the business as a cash-cow, but continue to re-invest in it.”

Ms Byrne said that the business deals with around 17,000 to 18,000 calls per day, stating that the average cost per call to the customer is €1.


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