LETTERS: Mercury's fulfilled potential

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From Mr Duncan Lewis

Sir: I would love to know what your City columnist (26 July) believes is the potential which, he says today, Mercury has "failed to fulfil". Far from failing, Mercury continues to grow at around 15 per cent annually.

Against a competitor heavily favoured by its inheritance from the public sector, and with no "special privileges", we have become an essential component in the nation's wealth. Every day we bring real benefits to millions in the public, private business and domestic sectors of the telecommunications market, your own newspaper included.

On turnover fast approaching pounds 2bn, we consistently return exceptional profits and earnings growth to our shareholders. We have invested over pounds 2.5bn in this country, much of it in British technologies. Even now, in a much more competitive market than five years ago, sales of business and residential lines continue to rise, by more than a third last year. Our network carries more than a billion minutes of traffic every month. Last year - like many companies - we took a breath and restructured ourselves. And somehow, you seem to equate that with failure!

Yours faithfully

Duncan Lewis

Chief Executive

Mercury Communications

London, WC1