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ITG to go down the Freeserve route

Plans bolstered by upturn in results

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Internet Technology Group (ITG) -- the UK's largest independent Internet Service Provider (ISP) -- has confirmed it is in talks with a number of media and retail companies to create a "free" Internet access service similar to Dixons' Freeserve. A major partnership is expected to be announced in the spring although the company isn't prepared to reveal any more details at present. News of ITG's entry into the free Internet service marketplace coincides with the publication of its preliminary end of year results which sees a marked improvement on previous years. ITG has announced profit before tax of £55,000 compared to a loss of £1.96 million in 1997. And revenue has leapt by nearly 180 per cent to £11.01 million which has been mirrored by an increase in subscriber base to 105,000. "Making a profit for the first time is good news," said Laurence Blackall, chief executive of ITG. "But of greater significance is the substantial growth that we have achieved. "With our national and international networks, we are very well placed to sustain this growth and become a leading player in the global connectivity market," he said. ITG is the parent company behind Global Internet -- recently named the ISP of the year by Internet Magazine. Last week the company announced it's intention to buy Internet Facilities Europe, a Dutch business-to-business ISP for £4.27 million.

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