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Turnover up at Imagine but losses rise by €9.2m

IMAGINE Communications, the telecoms company headed by Sean Bolger, posted a €9.2m loss in 2008, adding to an €8.8m loss recorded in 2007, new accounts filed for the company show. Accumulated losses at the company stood at €30.8m at the end of 2008.

Turnover rose to €94m from €68.7m the previous year. Revenue from ongoing operations was 66pc higher at €82.5m, while turnover from acquisitions fell from €18.8m to €11.4m.

In 2008, Imagine acquired Irish Broadband. The price, €40m, was paid for in shares, with NTR and investor Kilsaran Concrete taking a combined 25pc stake in Imagine. They also committed a further €7m.

Imagine acquired brands that included Cinergi and Gaelic Telecom in the past.

Accounts show that the company incurred an operating loss of almost €8m. Net debt rose during 2008 to €6.1m from €5.2m. Its wage bill nearly doubled to €11.4m, while directors' emoluments totalled €259,000.

Imagine employs more than 350 people and last autumn announced plans to add a further 200 as it rolls out a €100m WiMax network in Ireland, backed by Intel and Motorola. Imagine received a combined €2m injection recently from NTR and London-based private equity firm DFJ Esprit Capital.

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