COLT reports solid growth, but predicts a difficult 2004

25 Feb 2004

Pan-European corporate service provider COLT Telecom has announced revenues of GBP1.17 billion for 2003, a 14% rise over 2002. EBITDA reached GBP163.4 million, up 128%, after the company reduced cash consumption levels from GBP300 million to GBP30.4 million, whilst net losses were reduced from GBP718.3 million to GBP124.6 million. At the end of 2003 COLT claimed 19,565 network and data solutions customers, a rise of 26% from the year-earlier period. Among the significant new customers signed up during the year was ToldSkat, the Danish taxation authority, for whom COLT will provide services at 30 office locations nationwide. In Italy COLT was awarded contracts to provide high-bandwidth data services to the Department of Education and La Sapienza University, whilst in Germany COLT said it had extended existing contracts with Commerzbank and EDS. Commenting on the results, COLT chairman Barry Bateman said he expected tough trading conditions in 2004, but revealed the company had cash and liquid resources of more than GBP802 million at the end of 2003 and is on target to be cashflow positive on a sustainable basis during 2005. Nevertheless, his prediction of a testing twelve months ahead for the group saw COLT’s shares close down almost 6% at GBP1.16. The stocks had risen by almost 30% in the first six weeks of 2004.

United Kingdom