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Easynet passes EBITDA milestone

Ups revenues, narrows losses

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Continued demand for high-speed Internet services helped broadband operator Easynet boost revenues last year and notch up an important first for the company.

It claims its "successful" investment programme in local loop unbundling (LLU) has enabled it to supply genuinely alternative broadband services to those provided by dominant telco BT.

Publishing prelims for the last year, Easynet reported that it had installed its kit in 68 BT local exchanges during 2003, bringing its total to 149. Earlier this year it confirmed it would invest in a further 80 exchanges during 2004.

At the end of 2003 Easynet had connected a shade under 4000 business customers through its local loops.

The average revenue Easynet gets from these business punters rose from £1800 in 2002 to £2474 by the end of 2003.

As a result, revenues for the full year were up 27 per cent to £116m compared to £91.5m in 2002.

The company also slashed its EBITDA loss by 75 per cent from £22.6m in 2002 to £5.7m last year.

Operating loss from all operations after exceptional items was £15.1m, down from a loss of £73.3m in 2002.

Easynet's important "first" is that the company was EBITDA positive in December 2003. Looking ahead, Easynet is confident of turning cash-flow positive during 2005.

In a statement, chairman Keith Todd said: "This set of results represents another milestone for the Company, as the Group turned EBITDA positive as a whole in December 2003.

"This was an important year in the development of our strategy, as we enhanced our position in the corporate data communications market and continued our successful roll-out of LLU in the UK."

By late morning shares in Easynet were up 4p (2.7 per cent) to 150.5p. ®

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Easynet to unbundle 80 exchanges in '04

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