Thus gives upbeat view of funding needs

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The Independent Online

Thus, the Glasgow-based telecoms company, yesterday more than halved its estimate of the amount of cash it must raise to reach profitability and said current funds would last longer than expected.

Thus, the Glasgow-based telecoms company, yesterday more than halved its estimate of the amount of cash it must raise to reach profitability and said current funds would last longer than expected.

The company, which is reigning in its spending plans, said it must raise an extra £80m to £100m, and said discussions were "ongoing" to introduce third-party funding. The funding gap was originally estimated at £160m to £200m.

"We're engaged in a [funding] process. I'm very happy about where we are in that and the progress to date," John Maguire, the finance director, said. "It's not keeping me awake at night."

Shares in Thus, which is forecast to turn cashflow positive in 2004, rose 6.3 per cent to 37.75p.

Thus said its current £320m loan facility from Scottish Power, which holds a 50.1 per cent stake in the firm, would now last it "well into the second half" of the next financial year.

The company's capital expenditure plans now total £80m for the current year compared with its previous guidance of £100m to £110m.

Thus unveiled a six-month to 30 September pre-tax loss of £42.8m compared with a £37.3m loss in the same period last year. Sales were £140.8m, up from £103.9m last time.

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