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XM Sales Soar 230%, Subs Double

Washington — First quarter revenue at XM Satellite Radio Holdings jumped nearly 230 percent, hitting $43 million, up from $13.1 million in the year-ago period.

With fixed expenses at $37.1 million in the first quarter, XM said it was the first time company quarterly revenue exceeded fixed expenses.

However, XM still reported a $78 million loss for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the first quarter, up from a $63.3 million loss in the same period the previous year.

Net loss widened to $170.1 million in the first three months, compared with a net loss of $126.3 million in first three months in 2003. The increase reflects growth in the subscriber base and also includes a one-time charge of $25.6 million.

Net subscriber additions in the first three months, ended March 31, reached 321,675, more than doubling the net subscriber additions of 135,916 in the first three months of 2003. Total XM subscribers at the end of March 2004 hit 1.7 million, up from a year-on-year 483,075.

The company reported that XM subscribers comprised 83 percent of all satellite radio subscribers, edging down from the 84 percent posted at the end of last year’s fourth quarter.

XM reported continued reduction in the cost to acquire each new subscriber, with this falling to $106, a 32 percent improvement over the $156 registered in the first three months a year earlier. The reduction was attributed to strong subscriber additions in the first quarter and efficient use of discretionary media and advertising dollars, said the company.