Energis halved its losses over the last year as its Internet activities and investment in metropolitan area infrastructure started to pay off.
Looking ahead, the operator said it plans to continue the aggressive expansion of its network within Britain's major cities and hinted that it may use broadband wireless technology to avoid having to lease capacity from BT.
Energis reported a pre tax loss of £31.1 million for the 12 months ended 31 March, 1999, compared with a loss of £62 million last financial year. Turnover for the period was up to £263 million, compared with £167 million a year earlier.
During the year, Energis gained major new customers for its telecoms business including Ernst and Young, Renault and Whitbread. The acquisition of ISP Planet Online in August also boosted the company's performance.
Planet Online hosts Freeserve, the free Internet access service that shook up the way consumers pay for Internet access in the UK. Energis also hosts the free business access portal launched by Sage earlier this month.
Metroholdings, the joint venture between Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Energis, has now completed construction of six fibre rings in London and expects completion of metropolitan networks in Manchester and Birmingham in September, followed by Bristol and Leeds.
Energis said it has 500 2Mbps circuits allocated to customers, 40 per cent of which have replaced circuits leased from other carriers.
Energis plans further savings by creating its own connections to the customer's doorstep, rather than leasing lines from carriers like BT or digging up the roads and laying its own fibre.
Energis said it will use broadband radio wave technology in the local loop, but would not give any details about when a service might be ready to launch.
"We will continue to extend out state of the art network, leverage our low marginal operating cost base and enhance our service capabilities exploiting new technologies such as Internet Protocol and broadband radio," said Energis chief executive Mike Grabiner in a statement.
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