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Thus turns a profit

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Scottish telco Thus today told investors it is cautious about the broadband business in the current climate of fierce competition, as it revealed margins on its internet services have been squeezed down to 29 per cent from 44 per cent a year ago.

Thus grew its broadband revenues in the six months ending 30 September 30 £10.2m to £43.6m. The growth included £10.9m from acquisitions though.

Overall, Thus Group scraped a net profit of £23.4m, thanks to the £33.8m one-off sale of Demon Netherlands. Thus is now trying to offload Demon UK too.

The group operated at a loss of £7m on revenues of £263.2m, up 49 per cent on the first half of the financial year. The inclusion of revenues from Thus acquisitions Legend and Your Communications bumped up the numbers. Big contract wins from HSBC, Scottish councils, and others helped too.

The board promised investors they would begin operating at a profit some time in the next financial year.

Thus has been promising it'll make an operating profit "anytime now" for ages. Back in 2004, it said it would hit the black in H1 2005.

Thus chief executive Williams Allan said today: "Despite the net losses from Your Communications and Legend Communications at the start of the year...growth from new businesses and integration efficiencies more than compensated for these losses."

The board expects to slash £30m in costs as it integrates Legend and Your Communications.

At time of writing, shares in Thus were trading up more than five per cent on the London Stock Exchange.®

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