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Energis dials up first profit

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Energis has posted its first profit, a nice turnaround for the UK alternative telco which had to be rescued by the banks when it went titsup two years ago.

Although turnover for the year ended March dipped from £770m to £745m, the telco racked up earnings before interest and tax of £4m - a massive improvement on the £369m loss recorded the year before. Strip out the pre-exceptional items and Energis says pre-tax profit was a mighty £10m.

With the number of corporate customers falling by half to fewer than 2,000, the fall in revenue was driven by a "market place refocus", the company said, as it moved to generate more revenues from fewer, larger customers. These custmers include Boots, Centrica, Financial Times Group and UK ISP Wanadoo.

Said chairman Archie Norman: "Today Energis is fully-funded, profitable and generating cash. We have delivered our first ever profit. This is a milestone in the Energis journey and a clear sign that we are building a strong and commercially robust business."

Energis reckons it is set for a return to growth with more than £300m in contract wins and opportunities opening in broadband, local loop unbundling and IP convergence.

Chief exec John Pluthero chipped in: "From a standing start, we have forged a strongly performing business. This year we will see a return to growth driven by our existing products. The opening up of broadband will provide further growth in 2005 and beyond." ®

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