– Financial position consolidated – 10th year of registration growth – operating profit up 50% –
- 2010 new .ie domain registrations were 36,587 (37,055 in 2009)
- Total .ie domains increased by 12.9% year-on-year to 153,419
- Registration fee income increased by 9.7% to €2.56 million
- Registry operating costs up by 1.6%
- Operating profit up 50% to €582,639
- .ie increased market share by 1.6% to 41.5% (compared to .com and .eu)
- 150,000th .ie domain registration milestone passed
- McAfee security survey reported .ie namespace remained in the top five safest in the world.
The IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the not-for-profit public organisation that manages Ireland’s top level internet domain, .ie, reports continued strong core trading performance for 2010 with overall continued growth in .ie domain registration numbers, and increased Members’ Funds that will enable the IEDR to invest further in the development of the .ie domain name system (DNS).
Core Trading Performance for 2010
IEDR performed strongly in 2010 during a difficult year for the Irish economy. Registration revenue increased to €2.56 million, a 9.7% increase on 2009, reflecting volume growth of 26.9%, offset by price reductions and price promotions. Cost control measures were balanced by the strategic priority for ongoing investment and stakeholder outreach activities. Administration expenses of €892,062 represented a 6.7% increase compared to 2009 and employment costs increased by 24.5%, as average employee numbers increased from 12 to 15, reflecting the recruitment of additional technical services and other staff during 2010.
IEDR recorded an operating profit of €582,639 including an exceptional once-off credit which contributed to the increase of 50.6% in operating profit compared to 2009. Investment gains and interest income contributed to the profit after taxation of €691,372. As a result, Members’ Funds increased substantially over the year to €2.9 million at year-end, the equivalent of 13.9 months’ fee income, ensuring that the Registry remains financially well-resourced.
New registrations of 36,587 .ie domains in 2010 were offset by 19,071 non-renewals or deletions. The net additions in the year led to the .ie namespace growing by a net 12.9% to 153,419. The growth in domain registrations was generated almost totally by the efforts of IEDR’s Registrar community and reflects a maturing Internet ecosystem. Domains per capita are now comparable to those of France and Italy. The .ie non-renewal rate is very low by international standards, and reflects the shortening domain life cycle, as domain names are increasingly used for promotional events and information programmes on .ie websites. The ongoing economic recession is also a factor, although there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that part of the growth is due to new online businesses established by those made redundant.
Current Trading and Outlook for 2011
New registration growth in 2011 exceeded 10,000 domains per quarter for the first time ever, and in May 2011, exceeded 4,000 domains in one month, also a new record. Despite difficult trading conditions in the Irish economy, in particular the SME community, the company’s current trading performance looks positive. On the international front, the company continues to monitor the rollout of secure DNS (DNSSEC) and US-based ICANN’s proposals to significantly expand the DNS by adding potentially hundreds of generic top level domains (gTLDs). These will undoubtedly represent a challenge for Ireland’s trademark and patent holders, brand managers and the owners of intellectual property rights.
Commenting on the 2010 results, Mr. David Curtin, Chief Executive of the IEDR said;
“The past year has been an extremely difficult one for the Irish economy so we are particularly pleased to have been in a position to grow registrations, provide new promotional resources and formalise policy development programmes, while increasing operating profit for the Registry in our 10thanniversary year. The operating profit has further strengthened our balance sheet and will enable us to increase investment in the .ie domain by providing new services and DNS infrastructural improvements that will deliver even greater security, stability and resilience of the .ie namespace. Our stakeholders again welcomed the news that IEDR’s efforts in this regard were externally validated by the now annual McAfee Mapping the Mal Webreport, which found that the .ie domain remains in the top five safest domains in the world.
Looking ahead to the outturn for 2011, the economic difficulties facing SMEs will continue to have an impact on registration and non-renewal levels. However, underlying demand remains and we are committed to supporting our Registrar community with both generic and specific promotional activities, such as price promotions and the launch of our €100,000 OPTIMISE Fund, to ensure that the .ie namespace remains the domain of choice for Irish micro-enterprises and SMEs.”