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Kingston Communications' decision to expand its business beyond its East Yorkshire enclave is beginning to pay off, the Hull-based telco said today.

Group turnover for the year to March excluding discontinued activities was up 23.6 per cent at £364.3m compared to £294.7m last year.

At the same time the telco turned last year's pre-tax loss of £118m - which included a write down on network assets of around £100m - into a pre-tax profit of £7m.

Chief exec Malcolm Fallen said that over the last year the company had "accelerated the repositioning of the group as a provider of integrated, converged communications services in the UK" moving away from its reliance on its traditional phone business in Hull.

Part of that expansion came with the last year's acquisition of Exeter-based broadband ISP Eclipse and IP convergence outfit Omnetica. Kingston has since flogged the Italian and French operations of its Omnetica business so that it can concentrate on its broader UK business.

Said the company today: "In line with the expectations we had at the time, the acquisitions made during the year have made an immediate positive impact on the Group.

"The combined contribution from Eclipse over six months and Omnetica over three months has been £60.2m of turnover and £6.1m of EBITDA (earnings before interest etc) before exceptional items."

Last week Kingston announced it had flogged the French operation of Omnetica to Belgium-based Telindus for €47m (£32.3m). Although the deal still needs the nod from French competition authorities it is expected to be completed by June.

Kingston said it would use the cash to help reduce bank debt. ®

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