UK telco sector remains in doldrums

Colt warns of tough times ahead

The UK's telecoms sector shows little sign of improving over the coming year as it continues to wrestle with "tough" conditions.

This rather glum assessment coincides with the publication of results from alternative telco Colt, which has been busy "refocusing its business" and "implementing a new strategic plan".

Turnover for the year ending 31 December, 2004 was up 7 per cent to £1.2bn while EBITDA (earnings before interest etc) slipped to £153.7m from £163.4m. Pre-tax losses before exceptional items fell by 15 per cent to £114.6m.

Said Colt chairman Barry Bateman: "2004 was a tough year for the telecommunications industry and Colt. Nevertheless, turnover was up, losses were down and cash flow improved. We have entered 2005 in a stronger position having put in place the management team and strategic initiatives to move Colt forward to long term profitability.

"We do not anticipate any significant improvement in market conditions during 2005," he added.

Chin up. ®

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