IE Domain Registry Annual Report & Review 2018 – 8.3% increase in turnover in 2018

by David Curtin
10 Jul 2019

Turnover increased by 8.3% from €3.06 million in 2017 to €3.32 million in 2018. Net growth in .ie domain registrations increased by 60%. We recorded an operating profit of €147k (2017- €186k) and ended the year in a strong financial position with €3.9m in Members’ Funds. As a company limited by guarantee, we must rely on our own financial reserves as our only source of capital.

Our overall financial position remained solid in 2018, with an expansion of our role as a digital advocate for Ireland’s micro-businesses and SMEs.

Key achievements


  • Exceptional growth in domain registrations in 2018, with 51,040 new domains registered, an increase of 29.1% YoY (2017- 39,523).
  • The total .ie domain database recorded 259,815 active domains by the end of 2018, up 10% on the previous year.
  • This buoyant performance was generated by marketing and promotional activity of our accredited Registrar community, particularly around the time of the liberalisation of the registration rules.
  • Our liberalisation policy, implemented in March 2018, makes it easier and faster for citizens and business owners to register a .ie domain. The change has facilitated a significant expansion of the .ie namespace.
  • Following a year of preparatory work, we implemented changes to ensure compliance with the new GDPR regulation in May 2018.


  • We published a single edition of its flagship research, the SME Digital Health Index, which analyses and measures the digital health of Irish SMEs. This was the first year of the report in its new, annualised format, which surveyed 1,000 SMEs rather than 500 twice yearly as per previous reports.
  • We launched the ‘Digital Town’ initiative in 2018 to celebrate and highlight the knowledge, use and understanding of the internet among citizens, businesses and communities. Gorey, Co Wexford was selected as the 2018 Digital Town.
  • As part of Digital Town, local and national business experts provided free advice and digital demonstrations to Gorey’s business owners, community groups and citizens on all matters digital, including general digital skills, e-commerce, website development and mobile video.
  • 2018 also marked the eighth year of our OPTIMISE programme. As part of the programme’s sector-based approach, we partnered with the Design & Crafts Council (DCCoI), Retail Excellence and the Irish Hardware Association to develop the digital presence and e-commerce potential of 40 SMEs in the design and craft, hardware and retail pharmacy sectors.


  • The work of the Policy Advisory Committee will continue in 2019. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy, announced in May and launched in July this year, will provide an easier and more affordable service for citizens and small business owners who wish to contest ownership of a .ie domain.
  • Internationally, we continue to respond to developments impacting ccTLD registries, in particular, EU regulations on the Digital Single Market and the recent expansion of the global namespace by 1,212 new gTLD competitors (with 27 million domains under management) by the end of 2018.


David Curtin, Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry, said:

“IE Domain Registry is in robust financial health. With ongoing emphasis in 2018 on strategic execution, the management team was particularly successful in achieving net growth of the .ie registry, continuous improvement in customer services, and a strengthening of the company’s role as a digital advocate for Ireland’s micro-businesses and SMEs, through its research, events and direct funding initiatives.

“2018 was an exceptional growth year for the company, with 51,040 new registrations, a 29.1% increase when compared to the same period in 2017. This growth has been powered by the liberalisation of .ie domain registration rules, a change implemented in March 2018. It’s now easier and faster for citizens and business owners to get a .ie domain, connect with their communities, and sell to local and international markets.

“Accredited Registrars are essential partners in promoting and marketing .ie. The exceptional growth in 2018 is due to their energy and commitment to grow and develop the .ie namespace as an online identity for Irish business, residents and citizens.

“Through research like the SME Digital Health Index, initiatives like Digital Town, and direct funding through the OPTIMISE programme, IE Domain Registry continued its work in 2018 to promote excellence in SMEs’ use of websites and e-commerce, and greater uptake of digital technology in general.

“Our Policy Advisory Committee is continuing its work this year. The alternative dispute resolution policy will provide an easier and more affordable online service for citizens and small business owners to contest .ie domain ownership through a ‘Fair Play and a Fair Hearing’ system. Other policy initiatives will be undertaken, with the objective of improving cybersecurity for the .ie namespace and developing this digital national resource.”

You can download the full report by clicking here.