Demon scores broadband ton

100,000 not out

Demon - the internet business owned by Scottish telco Thus - has more than 100,000 broadband punters, it reported today. The increase of 30,000 or so high speed net users on the year helped push broadband revenues up 24 per cent to £17.4m.

Snag is, the telco continues to be hit by a fall in narrowband revenues as punters ditch dial-up for high speed connections. As a result, total internet turnover at Thus fell 3 per cent to £43.6m.

Overall, the telco racked up £176.8m in revenues for the first six months to September, down from £177.5m on the same period last year.

But operating losses fell 75 per cent down to £5.8m compared with £23.3m last year as the telco managed to reduce overheads and attract new public sector and corporate customers including Brewin Dolphin, British Waterways and Cheshire County Council.

And just as it said two months ago when it delivered its last update, Thus is still on the look-out for possible mergers and acquisitions.

"We confirm our intent to explore and capitalise on opportunities from industry consolidation but only if these opportunities create value for our shareholders and accelerate our business plan to generate a return on capital employed," said the company in a statement.

By mid morning shares were up a halfpenny at 15p. ®

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