e.Biscom Reports Full-Year 2000 Consolidated Results
Milan, March 1, 2001 - e.Biscom SpA (Milan's Nuovo Mercato :EBI), the Italian leader in broadband telecommunications, Internet and media-related services, today announced consolidated results for the full year ending December 31, 2000.
As previously announced, the company posted Euro 42.4 million (ITL 82.3 billion) in revenues for 2000, only having been operative for the last nine months of the year. A large part of the revenues came from FastWeb SpA, e.Biscom's broadband telecommunications unit which offers services to business and residential customers, and HanseNet GmbH, the Hamburg-based telecommunications company acquired in October last year.
"It has been a great first year as a public company. Our performance this year is proof of the sustainability of our business model," said Silvio Scaglia, e.Biscom Chief Executive Officer. "When I think that a little over year ago, we were only 10 people and now we are 1,000, I am amazed at e.Biscom's growth. The first indications from the current year are extremely positive."
e.Biscom's consolidated loss was Euro 102.6 million, of which Euro 85.1 million were one-time costs associated with the company's initial public offering in March 2000. EBITDA (earnings before interest tax, depreciation & amortisation) amounted to a loss of Euro 39.7 million. No year-comparable figures are available.
e.Biscom ended the year with a net positive cash position of nearly Euro 1.2 billion.
FastWeb made impressive progress in 2000 and currently boasts a network of over 1,200 metropolitan kilometres. The company's residential service kicked-off in the last quarter 2000, ahead of schedule. FastWeb services are currently being offered in Milan, the surrounding areas and Genoa. FastWeb is also scheduled to offer its service this year in Rome, Naples, Turin, Reggio Emilia (near Bologna) and Grosseto (near Florence). Two months ago, FastWeb won the auction held by the Italian Postal Service for rights to use its underground network to bring fibre throughout Rome's city centre, which was a key move in the company's expansion plans for this year.
The broadband telecommunications company signed-up more than 5,300 clients and made its service available to over 5,500 buildings in the greater Milan area by year-end. Its network is accessible to approximately 70,000 homes.
e.Biscom sees an EBITDA break-even for FastWeb in 2003 thanks to the rapid growth of its corporate client business, which accounted for over 95 percent of revenues last year. Its shareholders will seek a public listing of the company in the next 24 months, provided market conditions are favourable.
In October last year, e.Biscom paid Euro 245 million to take a controlling 80% stake in HanseNet Telekommunikation GmbH, the leading competitor to Deutsche Telekom in the Hamburg region, after being selected from a range of international competitors for its technological leadership. This was the company's first expansion abroad. It aims to replicate the FastWeb business model in Hamburg, focusing principally on business customers.
HanseNet experienced stable growth in 2000 with revenues of Euro 44.4 million thanks to its 1,800 kilometres of infrastructure in place. e.Biscom's portion of 2000 revenues from HanseNet was Euro 16.5 million, nearly 40 percent of total revenues for the year end 2000.
e.Biscom has identified Germany as a strategic market for its future growth.
e.BisMedia SpA, e.Biscom's content provider, also enjoyed a very active 2000. The company launched its interactive on-line newspaper ilNuovo.it -- which reached one million daily page viewers last month -- as well as its TV news broadcasting, both available over the Internet. Additionally, it entered into partnership with some high profile companies such as RAI, the Italian state-owned television, through a joint venture called Raiclick which provides for more than 10,000 hours of RAI's historic and current programming. The service will be offered before the summer of this year.
One of the big milestones of 2000 was the deal struck with the Associated Press, one of America's largest and most respected news organisations, to create AP.Biscom, a venture formed for the exclusive distribution of the AP's news in Italy. Based in Rome, AP.Biscom will also combine AP's offering, both domestic and international, with its own content.
e.BisMedia ended 2000 with Euro 410,000 in revenues only after a few months of operations.
B2Biscom, e.Biscom's B2B arm founded in May 2000 and officially launched in October, also continued to make good progress. B2Biscom is presenting itself to the Italian market as the strategic partner for identifying high-quality B2B solutions, both for large industrial and financial concerns and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In September 2000, B2Biscom announced an important partnership deal with Ariba, the leading NASDAQ-listed firm for the development of "business to business" solutions. Under this agreement, B2Biscom will be marketing Ariba`s eCommerce platform to assist Italian companies in deploying ecommerce solutions. B2Biscom is currently offering its services to northern Italy's most prominent banks, such as Banca Popolare di Milano SpA, Banca Popolare di Lodi SpA and Banca Popolare di Bergamo Credito Varesino SpA.
B2Biscom is currently among the top three marketplaces in Italy.
During 2000, Metroweb SpA, of which e.Biscom has a 33 percent stake, consolidated its role of "dark fibre provider" thanks to the development of commercial relationships with the principal national and international operators involved in cabling in Milan urban and surrounding areas. These relationships have taken concrete form through an increase in the volumes of fibre leased to operators such as FastWeb and Albacom under umbrella agreements already in effect as well as accords with other operators of prime importance on the international scene such as GTS, Colt, Wind and Grapes.
During the year, Metroweb's investments amounted to Euro 69.6 million.
Metroweb, in which e.Biscom has managing control, began this year by announcing an important cabling agreement with the municipality of Sesto San Giovanni. The cabling project, named "Sesto 3000", will implement a broadband platform over a 70 km network infrastructure, with the installation of approximately 7,000 km of fibre optics. Sesto San Giovanni, an area with a high concentration of companies, is already equipped with traditional infrastructure and transport networks and is situated in a prime location. With the cabling project, it will rapidly become a natural choice for territorial development north of Milan.
Metroweb plans to extend its range of operations to the area from the Po River to the Swiss border and from Novara to Verona. In ten years time, at a regional level, its fibre network will cover more than 4,000 km, including 1,500 km of metropolitan network, 1,700 km of regional network and approximately 1,000 km of infrastructure and access links.
The dark fibre provider is controlled by Milan utility company AEM SpA. It reached EBITDA break-even on a monthly basis starting in autumn last year.
e.Biscom SpA, the listed company, reported a net loss for the year amounting to Euro 55.2 million.
e.Biscom is the Italian leader of broadband telecommunications, Internet and media-related services. The company was launched in September 1999 by a group of Italian managers with a significant track record in the establishment and management of major telecommunications projects and successful start-ups, both in Italy and abroad. e.Biscom aims to leverage the unique skills of its team in the management of integrated IP networks and in the development and provisioning of broadband services and innovative Video Internet content in order to lead the broadband technological revolution in Italy and throughout Europe. e.Biscom has been listed on Milan's Nuovo Mercato for high-growth stocks since March 2000 (IPO proceeds: Euro 1.6 billion).
You can see the Reclassified consolidated income statement and Reclassified consolidated balance sheet in the .pdf document.