How To Lose Half A $1 Billion On A Phone Service

03/28/2008 02:46 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Dan Frommer Silicon Alley Insider

Helio, the cash-burning "virtual" wireless carrier co-owned by EarthLink and SK Telecom, saw losses soar last year -- but sales grew faster.

Helio lost $327 million in 2007 on $171 million of revenue -- a greater loss than 2006, when the company lost $192 million on $47 million of revenue. Throw in the $42 million it lost in 2005, and you get a lot of red ink: more than $560 million in three years.

Silver lining: Revenue beat the high end of the company's $140-$170 million guidance, and losses came below the low end of its $340-$360 million guidance. Sales also outpaced losses: While losses increased 70% year-over-year, revenue jumped 264% y/y. The financial stats were included in EarthLink's (ELNK) annual report to the SEC, filed today.

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