Meteor suffers €147m pre-tax loss

Mobile phone and broadband company Meteor recorded pre-tax losses last year of €146.6m after booking an impairment charge of €112m.

Accounts just filed by Meteor Mobile Communications Ltd show revenues fell by 10.7% from €458m to €408.9m in the year to the end of June 30, 2011.

According to the directors, the impairment charge was driven by lower cash flows within business plans, reflecting increased competition; weaker trading conditions accentuated by the IMF bailout and Budget 2011; reduced consumer spending and rising unemployment.

The figures show that the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped by 42% from €102m last year to €59m.

The report states: “This is attributable to the downturn in the general economic climate, the reduction in mobile termination rates and continued intense competition in the mobile market.”

As part of the Eircom group, the firm is currently in examinership and its examiner, Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton, has finalised a scheme of arrangement with Eircom’s lenders that he hopes will allow the company to exit the examinership.

Mr McAteer has notified creditors of his plans to call a meeting in Dublin on May 18 to outline the proposals that he will then take to the Commercial Court for approval.

The directors’ report for Meteor confirms its number of subscribers declined last year by 1.2% to 1,031,268.

The figures show that the company recorded the pre- tax loss of €146.6m after recording a pre-tax profit of €9.1m in fiscal 2010.

The firm received a tax credit of €12.2m in 2011 to result in an after-tax loss of €134.3m.

A restructuring charge of €1.4m, compared to €3.5m in 2010, contributed to the losses last year.

The filings show that the company’s operating costs, excluding amortisation, depreciation and restructuring costs last year fell from €354.8m to €346.7m.

Staff costs last year totalled €45.5m, down from €48.1m in 2010. Staff levels last year declined from 751 to 673.

The figures show that the firm’s accumulated losses increased to €283.4m last year. Taking into account a capital contribution of €365.6m, Meteor had equity of €82.8m.


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