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'Key milestones' passed

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Thus, the telco best known for its Demon Internet brand, now generates more revenue from its broadband punters than it does from its dial-up customers.

Describing this transition in revenue source as a "key milestone", the company reported turnover from its Internet division grew 10 per cent last year to £99.1m, as the number of ADSL punters rose to 96,000. UK-based ADSL subscribers doubled last year to 58,000, while its Dutch ADSL base grew five-fold to 38,000.

Publishing its prelims for the year to the end of March, Thus said: "During the year, the rapid market growth in the development of broadband Internet access via Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) services continued. This strong growth was partly masked for the second year by continued churn in our narrowband dial-up base but we have migration plans in place and expect the churn to greatly reduce next year."

Thus - which also supports Amserve's em@iler service - also reported "strong growth" in Net access, email and SMS services as the number of em@iler users swelled to almost 300,000. All of this helped increase turnover for the year up, 14 per cent to £332.4m, from £291.2m in 2003. Pre-tax loss was down 57 per cent from £58.8m to £25m.

Thus chief exec William Allan said the board "remains comfortable with market expectations for the year ahead, and of achieving our next key financial objective of operating profit in the second half of this financial year."

By late morning shares in Thus remained unchanged at 29p. ®

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