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ISP biz in black in 2002

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Shares in Affinity Internet Holdings - the UK telecoms and Internet outfit - slipped in early trading after the company reported increased turnover and widening losses.

Publishing its prelims for the year to December 31 Affinity said that turnover for the year was up 366 per cent to £52.8 million.

Pre-tax losses increased by £4 million to £30 million.

Terry Plummer, Affinity's chairman, said that he "continues to view the future with enthusiasm and confidence" and that his operation is "now directed to growing revenues, increasing profitability [and] strict cost control".

Despite this bullish outlook Affinity's share price dipped 18.5p (6 per cent) to 282.5p by mid morning.

Elsewhere, Affinity claims that its ISP business will become profitable later this year even though the number of small companies looking to run branded ISPs continues to fall.

This, though, is compensated by the number of established brands looking for ISP services.

Affinity saw an increase of traditional brands taking up its white label ISP services - including WHSmith, Prudential, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Powergen - and believes these "bricks and mortar" brands will come to dominate the Web.

At the end of 2001, the number of registered ISP users had increased 23 per cent to 1.5 million, the company said. ®

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