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'Marked improvement'

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Italy-based ISP Tiscali reported today that continued demand for broadband has helped generate higher revenues for the pan-European outfit.

Publishing year-end figures, the company reported total revenues of €902.7 million for 2003.

Although the company made an EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) loss of €215.8 million, the ISP claims this was a "marked improvement" on the €504.9 million loss reported in 2002.

Part of this "marked improvement" is down to what Tiscali describes as an "exceptional growth" in punters signing up to broadband.

At the end of December, Tiscali had 840,000 ADSL customers, an increase of 238,000 (36 per cent) on the 602,000 customers recorded in Q3.

Growth is still on the up, with an average of 20,000 customers signing up to the service every week. This month the ISP reported it had hit the one million milestone.

Said the ISP in a statement: "Although Tiscali continues to offer internet dial-up to seven million customers across Europe, it is establishing itself as a provider of broadband services, thanks to a targeted and effective strategy that has enabled the company to reposition itself on its main markets.

"This trend has also been favoured by the improvement in the regulatory situation of the broadband market in Europe."

Looking ahead, the ISP expects revenues to grow 30 per cent during 2004 to more than €1.2 billion while it's on track to have more than 1.6 million ADSL users by the end of the year. ®

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