Posting preliminary results for the third quarter, Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Online, Europe’s biggest internet service provider, reported a loss narrower than analysts’ projections and a rise in revenues from advertising and e-commerce.

The ISP saw an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) loss of E35 million for the three months to September, down from E43m last year and much less than the E45m anticipated.

No detailed explanation was given for the improvement, though T-Online did announce it should continue to benefit from its withdrawal of a loss-making flat-rate access offer until the end of the year at the earliest.

Sales over the first nine months of the year rose 50% to E809m, with around E269.7m in Q3. Portal revenues, representing advertising and e-commerce, rose 10% to E40.3m between Q2 and Q3, despite the poor ad environment.

However, portal revenues only account for 15% of the total, only half the target set for 2004 by chief executive Thomas Holtrop. In addition, it is unclear what proportion of such sales came from Deutsche Telekom, which has an 81.7% stake in T-Online – a figure that will become known when full results are published on November 29.

News source: Financial Times