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Last Updated: Monday, 23 February, 2004, 07:28 GMT
French woes double Egg's losses
Egg has struggled since the launch of its La Carte Egg credit card
Internet bank Egg has doubled its losses after its French business helped push the UK firm deeper into the red.

The troubled group, which is 79% owned by insurer Prudential, said its annual pre-tax losses for 2003 had risen to 34.4m ($64.8m), up from 16.6m in 2002.

Egg said it made an operating profit of 72.8m in the UK, however that figure was overshadowed by an operating loss of 89.1m in France.

Prudential has signalled its intention to sell the internet bank.

The UK insurance giant said in January that it had several potential buyers for Egg.

Target put back

Egg chief executive Paul Gratton said: "In France, as previously reported, the underlying business performance has been very disappointing."

The company has struggled since the launch of its La Carte Egg credit card in 2002, following the purchase of French internet bank Zebank.

Customer numbers failed to meet expectations, forcing Egg to almost double its investment budget and delay a target for breaking even by a year to 2005.

Investors have speculated that a large US credit company and several major UK banks could be interested in acquiring Egg.

The company has 3 million customers in the UK and is valued on the stock market at roughly 1.5bn.

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26 Jan 04  |  Business
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22 Oct 03  |  Business
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02 Mar 04  |  Derbyshire
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24 Apr 03  |  Business
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24 Feb 03  |  Business
Egg hatches credit card in France
12 Dec 02  |  Business

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