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Lost: 30,000 Bulldogs

Pipex trading update shows punters unleashed

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Pipex used a trading update this week to reveal the disappearance of 30,000 customers from Bulldog, the ISP it bought from C&W last year.

Bulldog has slipped from a claimed user base of 110,000 at acquisition down to 80,000 though as Pipex paid a per-subscriber price the total bill is down below £10m quid, from the original £12.5m expected.

Apart from the stray Bulldogs, 2006 was a top year for Pipex, it would seem, with income up 122 per and ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) rising from £23.00 to £24.70. It said 20,000 customers have been migrated to unbundled exchanges (where Pipex owns the kit in the local exchange, rather than leasing it from BT) which number almost 100.

In addition to providing broadband connection, Pipex makes money selling domain names and through hosting services: 330,000 customers are hosted with Pipex, which sold 1.7 million domain names during 2006.

All this would seem to fly in the face of predictions that everyone would need to be a quad-player in 2007; Pipex offers a basic fixed-telephony service but is not in the mobile phone business and is not trying to push TV programmes either. But these figures make it an attractive acquisition target for someone looking to get into broadband, perhaps someone who is currently selling TV programmes or mobile phones.

As for the 30,000 Bulldog customers, apparently they could have been customers without billing records, or just database records without people attached. ®

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