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Terra Lycos in €2bn loss

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Terra Lycos lost a whopping €2bn last year as the global Internet group wiped off €1.4bn in the value of the company's assets.

Terra Lycos - which operates in 42 countries including the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America and includes operations such as the Lycos portal, RagingBull.com, Tripod.com and Wired.com - said it "used transparency and prudent conservative accounting criteria to bring the book value of past investments in line with the current market situation".

Part of this relates to the write-down of €857m linked to Terra's $12.5 billion acquisition of the Lycos portal operation in 2000.

Publishing its results for the year, the Barcelona-based Net access and portal operation generated €622m in revenues in 2002 against an EBITDA (earnings before interest etc) loss for the year of €120m.

At the end of December 2002, Terra Lycos had a total of 3.1 million paying punters including 378,000 ADSL customers.

In a statement Terra Lycos executive chairman, Joaquim Agut, said: "2002 presented a major challenge for Terra Lycos, with an adverse macroeconomic backdrop and a crisis in the advertising industry in general and in the online advertising market in particular.

"We were still able to continue growing and focusing on services for which our clients are willing to pay. At the same time, we have maintained a constant path towards profitability through efficient management and a commitment to innovation that allows us to obtain new sources of recurring revenue," he said. ®

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