Colt Telecom

COLT TELECOM, Europe's largest phone company serving only corporate customers, said third-quarter sales rose 71 per cent on increased business in financial centres. The cost of that expansion widened its net loss. "Revenue is the key number because it gives an indication of the growth path [once network construction costs subside]," said Paul Sharma at JP Morgan.

Colt's shares rose 18 per cent and the stock has more than doubled since the beginning of the year. The company said it was profitable before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation - the figure known as Ebitda - for the first time; three months earlier than many analysts had expected.