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Wanadoo - the French Internet outfit which also owns Freeserve - reported increased losses today despite improved revenues for the first six months of the year.

It made a Net loss of E102 million in H1 2001,compared to E67 million during the same period last year.

Total revenues increased to E689 million from E456 million.

Some 45 per cent of revenues came from Internet access, portals, e-merchant and business services - up from 28 per cent during H1 last year, the company said. The rest came from its directories and business services operations.

In France, earnings before interest, tax etc (EBITDA) was E14 million compared to a loss of E29 million at the end of June 2000 thanks chiefly to improved profits in its Net access business.

EBITDA losses at Wanadoo's international operations - Freeserve in the UK and Spain's Indice Multimedia - more than doubled from E29 million in H1 2000 to E68 million for H1 2001.

In a statement Nicolas Dufourcq, Chairman and CEO of Wanadoo, said: "Wanadoo is now one of the most complete and solid Internet companies in Europe.

"Our results for the first half of 2001 confirm our position as a leading Internet media and services company, reflected in robust revenue growth.

"The profitable economic model for Internet access has clearly been confirmed by significantly lower acquisition and network costs, coupled with an increase in average revenue per user.

"We are also reaffirming our objective of achieving positive EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2002," he said.

Wanadoo says it has five million punters and hopes to top ten million in 2003. ®

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