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Alba's Net TV dog dies expensive death

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Alba's draining foray into Internet television cost it £17.9 million in charges to close the venture.

The company's Bush Internet portal was folded last week into ITV Digital and Alba has ended production of all Net TVs and set-top boxes.

The charge meant Alba reported losses of £12.3 million for the six months to 30 September. Sales slipped from £170 million to £162 million because of the failure of Bush Internet TV hardware.

Alba said Bush Internet portal registered users had increased from 115,000 in early July to approximately 170,000, but it didn't think the continuing rate of increase was sufficient to bring the portal to profitability within a sensible time.

John Harris, chairman, said: "This now draws a line under the negative financial impact of Bush Internet."

In June the company said it had sold just a third of the integrated Internet-TVs it expected to shift. Only 180,000 punters, out of a forecast 500,000 coughed up for the device. The price had been cut to £99, down 33 per cent, to shift the things.

Elsewhere in Alba's consumer electronics portfolio, regular couch potato products under the Goodmans, Alba Radio and Bush Radio brands sold well in the six month period. ®

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