One of Europe’s largest independent ISP, Tiscali SpA has posted a healthy rise in sales, thanks to the strong growth of its ASDL revenues that rose 44% year-on-year.
For the half year ending June 30, the ISP recorded sales of 412.9m euros ($527m), up from 353.7m euros ($451m) in the year-ago period. Income figures were not disclosed.
The Cagliari, Italy-based ISP added 360,000 customers in the first six months of 2006, bringing its total broadband customers to 2.07 million, up 21% from the end of last year. The crowd jewel in Tiscali’s operations is the UK, where it added 265,000 new customers to bring its UK installed base to 1.2 million customers.
It also added 81,000 new users in Italy, to give it a total customer base of 384,000 subscribers. It also added 26,000 in the Netherlands, taking its client base there to 276,000.
Despite the growth in ASDL connections, there is still concern that Tiscali is simply too small and diverse when compared with the continental giants that dominate Germany, France, and the UK.
Earlier this year, there was takeover speculation surrounding its UK operation, and there are persistent concerns over its financial resources. Last year Tiscali negotiated a new 150m euro ($193.7m) loan from Silver Point and its affiliates. However, it then increased the loan to 220m euros ($284m).
Tiscali was once regarded as a serious challenger to Telecom Italia, but it has had a difficult couple of years after a series of mistakes including an over-ambitious international expansion policy left it struggling to repay maturing bonds.
Last August it sold its optical-fiber network unit Tiscali International Network SAS to Telecom Italia SpA’s Telecom Italia Sparkle unit for 8m euros ($9.8m). In June 2005 it sold off its satellite broadband business in Italy for an undisclosed amount to Irish internet service provider Digiweb Ltd. In April 2005, it sold its 95% stake in LibertySurf, a French internet service provider, to Telecom Italia SpA for 266m euros ($342m).
In 2004 it raised 170m euros ($219m) in total by offloading businesses in Austria, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and South Africa, as well as by offering new stock.