Skype Narrows Earnings Loss, Boosts Subscribers

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Internet-telephone service Skype substantially narrowed its 2010 loss compared to 2009, the company reported late Friday.

Skype's net loss last year shrunk to $6.91 million from a $368.8 million loss in 2009, when it took a $344 million impairment charge. The company boosted its revenue 20% to $859.8 million as it grew its number of registered users 40% to 663 million and grew its average number of monthly paying users 21% to 8.8 million. Combined with lower costs, this broader subscriber base more than offset the impact of higher interest costs, the company says.

Founded in 2003, Skype was acquired by eBay (EBAY) for about $2.5 billion in 2005. In November 2009, EBay sold 65% of the company to buy investment firm Silver Lake for $1.9 billion. Last August, Skype announced its intention to go public, although it didn't say when, and in October, the company hired Tony Bates, a former senior vice president of Cisco Systems, as its new CEO.

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