Tiscali slips back into the red

Break-even was short but sweet

Tiscali has slipped back into the red just three months after crowing that it had reached break-even point.

Today the pan-European ISP reported that Q2 revenues were up 16 per cent at E172.5m from E148.9m during the same period last year. However, revenues have fallen more than E20m compared to Q1 2002.

The Sardinia-based ISP blames the fall in revenue on a drop in the number of users in France and Germany, but insists that this is merely a blip and won't harm its future growth or path to profitability.

However, it seems it has had an impact for Q2. The ISP made an EBITDA (earnings before interest etc) Q2 loss of E9.5m, reversing its position in Q1 when EBITDA topped E1 million.

Looking ahead, Tiscali reckons that total revenues for the year will come in around E800m, down from earlier estimates of E1bn. And the company said its also expects "further rationalisation measures and efficiency improvements to deliver a positive EBITDA figure for all of 2002".

Unfortunately, no one from Tiscali was available at the time of writing to explain what this might mean. However, since Tiscali is no stranger at swinging the axe, the second half of the year might prove a worrying time for those still employed by the ISP.

Elsewhere, in the three months between the end of March and the end of June, Tiscali has managed to lose 400,000 users and now claims to have seven million active users. This drop, it claims, is due mainly to the removal of duplicate registrations from its internal systems. The number of ADSL customers has increased 15,000 to 100,000 during the quarter.

By mid morning shares in Tiscali had fallen 6 per cent to E5.48. ®

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