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Freeserve has halved its losses for the first half of the year as it controlled network costs and benefited from the increased the amount of dosh spent by its customers.

The UK arm of French ISP Wanadoo notched up a loss of €25 million in H1 2003 - down from the €52 million run up in the first six months of 2002.

In the three months to the end of June, Freeserve netted 23,000 broadband customers, taking its ADSL customer base to 91,000.

However, the total number of active users fell in the three months to June from 2.67 million at the end of March to 2.64 million at the end of June. The number of paying subscribers also remained broadly flat at just over one million.

A spokewoman for Freeserve told The Register: "We're very happy with our financial performance for the first half of the year. We're well on track to meet our end of year targets." Those targets, if you're interested, are to halve losses this year and be "EBITDA neutral" next year.

Elsewhere, parent Wanadoo saw revenues for the first six months of the year jump 34 per cent to €1.23bn compared to the same period last year. This increase was led by a 64 per cent jump in revenues (€305 million) from Wanadoo's international business including operations in Spain and the Netherlands.

Said Oliver Sichel, chairman and CEO of Wanadoo: "With operating income before depreciation and amortisation exceeding our objectives and a positive operating income, Wanadoo posted profitable growth during the first half of 2003, strengthening our European leadership positions."

At the end of June Wanadoo had 8.8 million ISP punters in Europe including 1.8 million broadband customers. ®

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