Ethernet services

COLT Clings to Confidence

1:30 PM -- Through the dark economic clouds comes a thin shaft of optimism from pan-European business services provider Colt Technology Services Group Ltd , which has just announced improved third-quarter earnings and a creditable rise in data-service revenues, and it is sticking with its growth outlook for the year.

Total third-quarter revenues were roughly flat, with a year ago at €420.7 million ($540 million), but, encouragingly, revenues from data services, which have higher margins than voice services, grew by 8.2 percent to €232.3 million ($298 million). Colt is currently building a new network to support Ethernet services for its corporate customers. (See Colt Unveils NGN Vendors, Nokia Siemens Shares Ethernet Secrets, and Ethernet Services Revenue Still Growing Strong.)

The operator also reported improved gross margins and better net income in its third quarter. In addition, and more importantly, CEO Rakesh Bhasin said, in a prepared statement, that Colt is "confident that 2008 will be another year of progress... and we continue to be comfortable with expectations for the year."

That means the company is on course to report earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization of around €300 million ($385 million) for the year. Colt's 2007 EBITDA was €277.4 million ($356 million). (See Colt Reports Q4.)

Next year is a bit harder to predict, though, the operator's acting finance director Tony Bates told reporters today. For more details see this Reuters report.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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