Energis chief executive, Mike Grabiner, said the three-year-old telco would break even by 1999, when it aims to rake in revenues of #300 million.
Speaking as the company reported a 127 per cent leap in revenues for its fiscal year ended 31 March, Grabiner said the company was on target to capture a slice of the UK?s #15 billion value added business telephony market.
Its pre-tax loss for the year was #14.4 million, compared to a loss of #42.6 million last year.
Energis was established by the National Grid in 1993, which has so far pumped #500 million into the telco. The energy group will continue to inject #100 million each year for the next three years, but by that time, Grabiner is confident that Energis will begin reaping operating profits.
In a meeting with financial analysts, National Grid officials said it was considering putting Energis on the stock market, or seeking an equity partner, as two of a number of options open to the telco.
Energis, launched as a national competitor to BT and Mercury, now provides services to 33,000 business sites in the UK, and routes four million calls a day. Its strategy is to pitch its tariffs aggressively against BT. When, last week, BT slashed 10 per cent off the cost of its national day time calls, and 3.8 per cent off its regional day time rates, Energis reduced its prices to keep in line with its stated intention of undercutting BT by 10 per cent.
In the coming year Grabiner, who was formerly BT?s European director, said Energis needs to concentrate on developing its intenational business, which until now has relied on correspondent relationships with other telcos. Other aims are to increase research and development and to improve its local access points.
In two weeks, Energis will announce an R&D collaboration with Nortel, and a project to develop intelligent networks.
For local access, Energis has been widely tipped to be considering a merger with a number of cable operators to compete with Cable & Wireless Communications, which pulls together Nynex, Bell Cablemedia and Mercury. This would give it direct access to residential and business users, instead of having to shell out #50 million for BT to deliver calls to customer premises.
But Grabiner said there are no plans to merge with cable operators but added, ?We will continue to use BT to gain local access, use other operators or dig to our major customers ourselves.?
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