Italian broadband services provider Fastweb saw its third quarter net losses narrow to EUR18.4 million (USD21.6 million) from EUR27.1 million in 3Q04 due to lower financial costs. Revenues for the period rose 39% y-o-y to EUR258.5 million and it ended September 2005 with 644,000 clients, up from 457,000 a year earlier. The positive results come as speculation mounts that Fastweb might be a takeover target for one of Italy’s larger players. Last week the company revealed it had hired Deutsche Bank to explore strategic options for further growth, including possible alliances, but chairman Silvio Scaglia has denied that he is planning a sell-off.
FastWeb, a wholly owned unit of e.Biscom, is planning to invest EUR3 billion to elevate itself to the position of Italy’s second fixed line operator, and the telco’s 16,000km network now covers more than a third of the population; it is aiming to reach eight million households by the end of the year. It offers voice telephony, video and internet access services over a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network in some parts of the country, and over DSL lines rented from the incumbent where FTTP is not available.