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Wednesday, 25 April, 2001, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Wanadoo doubles subscriber numbers
detail from Wanadoo webpage
Wanadoo, the internet arm of France Telecom, more than doubled its number of subscribers in the first quarter, helped by acquisitions including Freeserve.

It said it had 4.94 million active customers at 31 March, up from 2.4 million at the end of the previous quarter.

It reported 1.1 billion page views during the quarter and said it had achieved first-quarter sales of 314.1m euros ($281m; 196m).

No comparative figures for the first quarter of 2000 were given.

Revenue in the fourth quarter of last year was 351m euros.

Disappointed

"I'm disappointed - access and portal sales were weaker than I'd hoped," said Manuel Lachaux, an analyst at ETC.

"I had expected total sales of 342m euros."

Wanadoo said revenues from internet service provision were 110.2m euros, up from 97m euros in the previous three months.

The figure included one month's revenue from Freeserve.

Other revenue came from Wanadoo's internet portal (15.7m euros), online sales site e-Merchant (6.6m euros) and directories (179.4m euros).

Portal revenue had more halved from 36.5m euros in October-December 2000 because of the downturn in the online advertising market.

Shares lower

Last year, Wanadoo bought the UK's biggest internet service provider Freeserve and agreed to acquire Spain's Indice Multimedia, in deals that more than doubled its subscriber numbers.

The company has said it expects to have 10 million subscribers by 2003.

Wanadoo shares have lost about 25% of their value this year.

At 0925 GMT, they stood at 6.66 euros, down 3.8% on the day.

In the initial public offering, investors bought Wanadoo shares at 19 euros each.

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See also:

22 Mar 01 | Business
Orange sets date for mobile upgrade
06 Dec 00 | Business
French rival clinches Freeserve deal
06 Dec 00 | Business
Freeserve: UK internet pioneer
08 Jan 01 | Business
Italy's Tiscali buys Liberty Surf
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