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Terra Lycos reckons "efficient management" over the last couple of years has helped it reduce the amount of cash it lost last year.

Te global Internet group reported total revenues of €546.6m for 2003, down from €621.8m in 2002. Crucially, the company narrowed its pre-tax loss to €173m down from an eye-watering €1.7bn the year before.

Highlighting the improved financial health of the business, Terra Lycos pointed out that it made its first positive EBITDA (earnings before interest etc.) in Q4, thanks to an €8m surplus.

Execs say this improvement is due to the continued control and streamlining of costs in 2003, which enabled EBITDA to "gradually and continuously improve".

"Full-year forecasts were exceeded throughout the year, with the company achieving positive EBITDA in the fourth quarter," the company said in a statement.

Elsewhere, Terra Lycos noted that it increased the number of paying customers by 61 per cent to five million over the year. The company, which has major ops in Spain and Latin America, reported an increase of 70 per cent for broadband customers in 2003, taking its total subscriber base to 644,000. Subscribers to its communications and portal services grew 94 per cent to 3.4 million.

Kim Faura, executive chairman of Terra Lycos, said the results "reflect the efficient management carried out over the past three years, focused on profitable business segments and progressing in the continual improvement of processes with the consequent reduction in operating costs." ®

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