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Thus - the Scottish telco behind the Demon ISP - is still on the lookout to acquire new businesses.

Or, as the company so eloquently put it in a trading update today: "We are continuing to explore opportunities to create additional value for shareholders from acquisition opportunities but only if this offers the potential to accelerate our strategy and business plan to secure our long-term objective of a return on capital employed greater than our cost of capital."

Thus has already tried - and failed - to do its bit to aid the ongoing consolidation within the UK's telecoms sector. In August, it revealed how it had offered to pay £800m for rival telco Energis. But Energis told Thus to sling their 'ook and agreed to be taken over by Cable & Wireless (C&W) instead.

Bouncing back from this rejection Thus remains keen to spend its cash growing the business. William Allan, chief exec of Thus, also noted that despite tough market conditions the business is still doing okay and "expects to achieve positive operating profits (EBIT) during the second half of this financial year".

Shares in Thus rose 0.23p (1.64 per cent) to 14.23p by mid-morning coffee break. ®

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