Madrid-headquartered ISP Terra Lycos posted lower-than-expected losses last week, after ad revenues failed to fall as much as feared.

For the third quarter, the company reported an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) loss of E49 million – narrower than Q2’s E65.5m and better than analysts’ estimates of E56.1m. Net losses stood at E82.9m.

Revenues also beat expectations, coming in at E170m – marginally above forecasts of E169.8m, albeit lower than Q2’s E180m. The bright spot was the tiny slide in portal revenues (generated by online advertising), which barely fell at all from E110.7m in the second quarter to 109m.

Financial augurs had expected a larger drop, given the weak ad environment, but pointed to the ISP’s ad deal with media giant Bertelsmann as one reason portal income held up so well. Access revenues, meanwhile, fell from E69m in Q2 to E61m.

Despite the positive results, the company’s immediate outlook remains clouded by continued weakness in internet advertising. Terra Lycos stuck by its breakeven target of “mid-2002”, though some analysts think this may be difficult to achieve.

News source: (US)