Broadband buoys Tiscali

Revs up

Tiscali has upped its revenues on the back of increased take-up of broadband, the pan-European ISP reported today.

Publishing Q1 results today Tiscali generated revenues of €212.5m - an increase of almost ten per cent compared to the same period last year.

EBITDA (earnings before interest etc) skipped in at €15.6m, an increase of 18 per cent compared to the previous quarter and a massive jump compared to a year ago when the ISP only made EBITDA of €1m.

The main oomph behind the figures was the uptake of broadband by Tiscali's punters. The number of ADSL users rose fourfold over the last year to 360,000 at the end of March.

At the end of April that figure had increased to around 400,000 and is continuing to grow by around 11,000 a week.

Buoyed by its Q1 performance Tiscali reckons its full-year performance could be better than first thought with revenues growing by around 20 per cent.

In a statement the company said: "This was the group's fourth consecutive quarter of organic revenue growth, and the second quarter running of positive EBITDA, marking a considerable improvement in profitability.

"These results are particularly significant considering the difficult conditions affecting the economy and the Internet services market, where broadband market regulations, despite some improvements, continue to hamper alternative operators," it said.

That barbed comment at the end refers, in part at least, to the row over wholesale broadband pricing in the UK, which prompted Tiscali UK to complain to the telecoms regulator.

Tiscali's complaint, along with others in the industry, helped force BT to review its pricing while Oftel continues to investigate complaints of anti-competitive behaviour. ®

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