France Telecom-controlled ISP Wanadoo slashed its net loss by 60% in the first half, beating analysts’ expectations.

The internet group – owner of Freeserve in the UK, among others – reported a net deficit of €39 million ($38.9m; £24.8m) for the six months to June, on a 33% year-on-year jump in sales to €918m.

Wanadoo’s operating losses shrank from €92m in H1 2001 to just €4m, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) reached €28m twelve months ahead of schedule. It expects to post a core profit for the full year, the first since it was listed on the Paris bourse.

The group said it would devote the rest of 2002 to integrating Spanish unit eresMas – the acquisition of which propelled it to number two in the European ISP league behind Germany’s T-Online. At the end of June, Wanadoo had 6.83m internet subscribers.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff