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COLT Telecom reduced losses for the three months ended 30 September 2004 and increased turnover seven per cent to £303.7m. Losses fell 11 per cent from £35.7m to £31.8m.

But Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) fell 23 per cent from £43.3m to £33.4m.

Chairman Barry Bateman said the underlying financial position was strong and losses were falling. "During the third quarter COLT continued to grow revenues and margins were broadly in line with the second quarter. However, price erosion across a number of products and pressure on costs combined to lead to a disappointing decline in EBITDA."

Chief executive Jean-Yves Charlier said: " the revenue mix was not what it needs to be and we continue to be challenged by the market environment and by pressures on our cost base. We have taken action to strengthen our senior management team in sales and marketing as well as in our key markets of France and the UK. Furthermore, after a strategy review, we are implementing an enhanced set of strategic initiatives - "Future in Focus" - designed to re-establish the company as an innovator and as one of the top three players in each of the metropolitan markets in which it operates across Europe."

Future in Focus is the company's plan to speed up revenue growth, deliver a profit, re-establish a reputation as an innovator and make COLT a top three player in each of its metropolitan markets in Europe. This will be achieved by improving sales from its 32 metropolitan networks, providing better IP products for SME market and ethernet and IP products for enterprises and simplify the business to reduce costs.

More details on COLT's strategic review here. ®

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