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Telco increases its loss

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Colt Telecom Group’s loss grew by a hefty 69 percent to £15.4 million in the third quarter, but still in line with analysts’ expectations of a £13.6 million to £20 million loss. Colt’s shares jumped by 26.5 pence to 671.5 pence on the news and the company said it now operates across seven countries and 11 cities. It intends to be operational in 20 cities by the year 2000. Colt, headquartered in London and run by Boston-based Fidelity Investments, has grown its European network significantly, trebling its sales to September 30, up to £61.1 million from £21.4 million this time last year. Chairman Jim Hynes said: "Our performance has exceeded all expectations, reflecting the very strong demand we have seen for our services in all markets and across all customer segments. Turnover for the third quarter of £61.1 million was up 32 per cent over the second quarter and gross profit of £11.6 million increased by 34 per cent over the second quarter, almost 2.5 times gross profit for the third quarter of 1997. He added: “Colt is serving more customers in more markets than ever before... and serving customers in a broader range of industrial sectors.” The equity, debt and convertible offerings completed during the quarter raised over £626 million pounds of new capital, and at the end of the quarter, cash resources amounted to £764 million. “This leaves us well positioned to finance our growth and expansion plans," said Hynes. ®

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