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Tiscali sales, losses balloon

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Tiscali today reported sharply higher losses and much higher costs on much bigger sales in 2001. The company also wrote down acquisitions paid for by shares to the tune of EUR815m. This saw net equity at the end of 2001 reduced to EUR 1.150bn, against EUR 2.24bn in 2000.

Add on some other exceptional items and operating losses of EUR –307.6m, and the European ISP giant comes in with a net loss of EUR 1.664bn for 2001 (2000: -EUR 181.4m).

Revenues for the year were EUR 635.7m, 267% higher than 2000 (EUR 173.1m). The company attributes growth to increased traffic and user numbers, achieved organically and through acquisition.

Tiscali's board characterises 2001 as a crucial year for the company, which saw it integrate its acquisitions, increase market share and consolidate its client base. The introduction of centralised management and a single network infrastructure has generated "considerable synergies and economies of scale", the company says.

Tiscalis claims it is the market leader for Internet acccess in Europe, with a "considerable" presence in all major markets and 16 per cent of retail users - 7.3m - on its books. This aggregates to 10.4bn minutes of Internet traffic in Q4, 2001. Which is nice. It sounds like an awful lot of minutes too, but it kinda needs some comparison with - say - Wanadoo and AOL Europe - to make this meaningful.

Tiscali also reports that 14.7m uniques visited its portal, making it "the leading European web property".

All very well. The company has had its year of kitchen sink accounting. This year, it's time to start making a profit. ®

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