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Wanadoo revenue up 34 per cent but shares fall

Freeserve shifting people onto subscription service

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France Telecom's ISP business Wanadoo - also the owner of UK ISP Freeserve - has posted a 34 per cent increase in revenue for its third quarter, although its share price fell 4.4 per cent on the news.

The company, which also holds ISP interests in Belgium, Spain, Morocco and the Netherlands, announced revenues of 407 million euros (£255 million) but other than that gave only its results over the last nine months. No profits information either.

Wanadoo announced that it plans to have positive earnings before interest, tax etc by the end of next year but stock exchanges remain conerned that the company is spending a small fortune expanding its customer base and infrastructure and receiving very little money in return. And they'd be right as well.

The company has tried to push as many customers onto subscriber services and has been successful at it. In France, it is stealing a good part of the ADSL market. In the UK, it is moving people off the Freeserve free ISP model - which was the first of its kind and spawned a hundred imitators - to an unmetered service.

Nevertheless, all this costs money and everyone is waiting for ISPs to announce they've found a way to actually make a profit. Each time they don't, share price slips. This time Wanadoo is down 4.4 per cent and parent company France Telecom down 3.5 per cent. ®

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