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Affinity Internet - which today announced it bought trendy ISP breathe - posted a pre-tax loss of £6.6 million for Q1 to March 31 against a profit of £1.24 million in the same period last year.

Turnover for the Internet services group more than doubled from £2.07 million in Q1 2000 to £5.6 million in Q1 2001.

Announcing its Q1 figures, Affinity also said it was embarking on a re-branding exercise in a bid to "simplify [its] offering and create a global brand enabling Affinity to fully exploit the group's brand value".

Its business structure has also been simplified in the hope of cutting costs and increasing sales opportunities across its different activities.

Affinity's Internet Division - which offers virtual ISP services - has spent Q1 restructuring its business for the adoption of the wholesale Net access product, FRIACO. As a BT reseller it now boasts some 24 ISPs using the flat-fee unmetered service including Tiny Computers and Arsenal football club.

Said Affinity: "The launch of FRIACO based internet access has initially seen a slow take-up, but increasingly clients are adopting these access models to promote to end users which will see improving margins from access and provide significant opportunities in the SME marketplace."

It hopes to convert a quarter of its client base to FRIACO by Q3, the company said. ®

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