MADRID - Spain's Jazztel can maintain the pace at which it is capturing new broadband customers after signing up 43,300 new contracts in the first quarter, its chairman told newspaper La Gaceta de Negocios in an interview published on Saturday.
Leopoldo Fernandez said Jazztel could continue signing up a similar number which took total ADSL contracts to 429,641 at the end of March -- 11 percent higher than at the end of December.
The rate of capture of clients in the first quarter is sustainable for the rest of the year, he told the paper. In fact, if we continue at this pace we will beat our own objectives, he told the paper.
Jazztel repeated its 2009 target for between 470,000 and 510,000 users. However at the current pace of 43,300 signups a quarter, it would have 559,500 contracts by the end of the year.
Jazztel, whose main competitor is Telefonica, has been winning customers during the recession thanks to a cut-price internet offer and improved customer service.
Fernandez, the biggest shareholder in the company, said by April 2013, if not before, the company would be debt free and have earnings of 100 million euros a year.
In the first quarter of this year, core earnings, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), rose to 5.9 million euros from 300,000 euros a year ago, while total revenues grew 27 percent to 101.6 million, it said last week.
(Reporting by Ben Harding; Editing by Sugita Katyal)