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Kingston schtum on bid approach

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Kingston Communications remained schtum today about a possible take-over bid. Earlier this month it confirmed that it had received an approach but declined to use today's publication of interims to furnish investors with any more news.

Said the Hull-based telco: "As announced on 10 November, the Group has received an approach that may or may not lead to an offer for Kingston Communications. Further announcements will be made as appropriate."

Instead, its results for the six months to September revealed that pre-tax profit slipped 65 per cent from £8.9m in H1 2004 to £3.1m during the same period this year. This dip in profits comes at a time when revenue increased 46 per cent - from £153m to £224m - over the same period.

Affiniti - Kingston's business-to-business telecoms outfit that operates across the UK - saw its revenue climb 67 per cent to £161m in H1. Kingston Communications - the telco's consumer, business and ISP business based in East Yorkshire - saw revenues rise 20 per cent to £54m.

Said chairman Michael Abrahams in a statement: "In a period of significant change within the market and our business, we have continued to improve the underlying financial performance of the business with a particularly strong improvement in cash flow from operations." ®

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