Freeserve gets better as Breathe expires

Quarterly results announced today show a fourfold increase in total turnover with revenues for the quarter to 11 November 2000 climbing to £15.6m.

The ISP, which is to be purchased by France Telecom’s internet arm Wanadoo in a £1.65bn deal, also reported a quarterly operating loss of £6m, compared to a loss of £14.6m in the previous quarter.

John Pluthero, CEO of Freeserve plc, said the results demonstrated the strong progress of Freeserve, and added that the acquisition by Wanadoo would ‘further accelerate the development of our business’.

Freeserve also announced strong growth in key business areas with advertising and e-commerce revenues up 51% on the previous quarter and connectivity revenue climbing 37%. On average Freeserve signed up 40,000 new subscribers per week for the quarter, taking its total number of subscribers to 2.091 million. In addition users of Freeserve were spending an average of 22 minutes connected to the web, compared to an average of 18 minutes in the previous financial period.

Freeserve brought forward its results from January in order to be included in Wanadoo’s offer document. This deal, which will see Freeserve form part of Europe’s third largest ISP, came as Breathe, the fourth largest ISP in the UK slid to its death following losses of £50m.

Breathe, a privately held company, had been planning a public listing valued at £100m. But further collapse in shares scared investors away and it could not secure the necessary funding to continue its operations.

Breathe is the latest in a line of ISPs offering unmetered subscription services to have folded.


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