Scot Power announces call centre scheme, low earnings

'Thus' preparing for flotation next week

Thus, the telecoms arm of Scottish Power due for a flotation next week, announced Wednesday a venture with Rotch Property Group and Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd to provide an all-in-one service for setting up corporate call centres. At the same time, parent Scottish Power announced disappointing first-half earnings results, which it attributed to interference from regulators. Thus operates Demon, the successful Internet service provider.

Reporting pretax profit for the six months to 30 September of £240m, down from £247m a year ago, Scottish Power chairman Murray Stuart said: "We are pressing both regulators vigorously to reconsider their positions."

The pretax result was close to the bottom of the £239m-£250m range of analysts' forecasts, but dealers said the market was receiving the results as "solid" and the company's roadshow for the partial float of Thus was perceived as going well. In early trade the stock climbed three to 580 pence.

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