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THUS Boosted By xDSL Broadband
By: MarkJ - 03 November, 2003 (10:27 AM)

As promised, THUS has today released its full interim results, which shows a four-fold increase in xDSL broadband to over 50,000 customers:

THUS Group PLC Interim Results six months ended 30 September 2003

Financial highlights

Sustained growth and margin expansion

- Turnover up 10% to 157.5 million. (H1 2003: 143.0 million)
- EBITDA1 up 89% to 20.6 million. (H1 2003: 10.9 million)
- EBITDA margin 13%. (H1 2003: 8%)
- Loss before tax reduced 67% to 10.2 million. (H1 2003: 30.8 million)
- Capital expenditure 16.7 million reduced to 11% of turnover. (H1 2003: 23.7 million and 17%)

Financially strong

- Net cash outflow2 reduced by 48% to 8.3 million. (H1 2003: 15.8 million)
- Net debt 40.9 million. Gearing 11%
- EBITDA less capex positive for first time at 3.9 million

Operating highlights

- New corporate customers include Virgin, GWR, Greenland, The Funding Corporation and Granada Interactive
- Data growth includes over 1,000 Ethernet circuits and four-fold increase in DSL broadband to over 50,000 customers
- Quality reputation reinforced with another strong performance in Oftel's latest Comparable Performance Indicators

Commenting on today's results, William Allan, Chief Executive said: 'THUS has delivered sustained turnover growth, strong EBITDA progression and sharply reduced losses despite difficult trading conditions. EBITDA less capital expenditure was positive for the first time, demonstrating rapid progress towards our target to be net cash flow positive on a sustainable basis.

During the period, we won a number of significant new corporate customers for our national services and further expanded our services into key accounts. As expected, our scale and continued operating efficiencies have enabled us to improve bottom line performance and to absorb price erosion from distressed competitors.

Although we remain cautious on the macro-economic outlook for the UK economy and on the market structure and pricing for telecommunication services, we remain confident that THUS will meet full year expectations on turnover and EBITDA and deliver sustainable positive cash flow after interest and capital expenditure in quarter four of this year as expected.

In addition, the Board believes that the business is on a steady trajectory to turn operating profit positive in the second half of the next financial year ending 31 March 2005.
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