This long-range view means the group will have arrived in the black ten years from start-up. Colt, which was founded in 1992 and began operations in October 1993, builds and supplies fibre optic telecommunication services to business customers across Europe and provides web hosting on the Internet. Its telecommunication services are already in 18 cities, including London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin, Zurich and Madrid. Colt's big investment by the end of this year will be services to Rotterdam and Marseilles. Next year it will extend operations to Stockholm, Hanover, Turin and Rome, and will create a German network. It will join forces with the American company Level 3, which is building similar networks linking London and northern Europe. The two telecommunications groups will "share the cost of digging holes in the ground", as the investor relations officer John Doherty puts it, so that Colt will have its own links instead of leasing them from other companies, and will cut its costs in the process. Ingeneri is therefore overseeing a huge injection of money in the group's middle-distance future. There have been operating losses in the past, including £26.4m in the second quarter this year. However, this was sustained on sales of £94.3m, which were more than double the £46.3m sales in the comparable quarter of last year. Looking at the broader picture, Ingeneri can proudly point to a turnover of £215m in 1998, a predicted figure of £400m this year, and a bonanza of £680m to £700m next year. The City expects a trading profit in 2001 but Colt's own forecast is a pre-tax profit the following year.The company calls all this "successful management of growth", and Ingeneri's role in this will be key to the flip-over into clear profit three years from now.
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