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Tiscali has posted improved financial results for the first half of the year thanks to the uptake of broadband services throughout Europe.

The Sardinia-based ISP signed up around 8000 new ADSL punters a week during the three months to the end of June - for a total of 110,000 broadband customers during the quarter - as it dug deep into its pockets to splash out on marketing the service.

As it stands, the ISP has 470,000 broadband users and expects to have signed up more than 750,000 customers by the end of the year.

But the growth in customers was offset by a slowdown in the number of people hooking up to Tiscali's narrowband service, although the ISP said that this was down to "one-off seasonal factors in June". In all, Tiscali has around 7.6 million customers.

Commenting on the growth in broadband Tiscali said in a statement: "These good results were due to heavy promotion of the service in all Tiscali’s markets, and to the gradual implementation of EU directives to liberalise the broadband market, which is now losing much of its monopolistic character in terms of regulation and tariffs."

Revenues for the first six months of the year swelled 17 per cent to €429.7 million ($467.34 million) compared to H1 2002.

EBITDA (earning before interest etc) hit €33 million - compared to a loss of €8.6 million in the first six months of last year.

Looking ahead, Tiscali reckons that revenues are set to grow by more than 20 per cent for the year-end. It has also confirmed that it is on target to make a net profit in 2005. ®

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