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HIGHER DEBT LEVELS INCREASE ARCH LOSS

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.-Arch Communications Group Inc. said its net loss for the first quarter increased due to higher levels of debt to finance growth and depreciation and amortization expenses associated with network equipment, pagers and acquisitions.

The company’s net loss totaled $45.8 million, or $2.21 per share, compared with a net loss of $19.4 million, or 98 cents per share, for the corresponding quarter last year. Net revenues for the quarter were $88.4 million, 46 percent more than net revenues of $60.6 million for the same period last year.

Arch said it added 220,000 subscribers during the quarter for a total of 3.5 million subscribers. The company added 180,000 subscribers during the first quarter of 1996, for a total of 2.2 million subscribers.

C. Edward Baker, chairman and chief executive officer of Arch, said highlights of the quarter included increasing the size of a bank facility with USA Mobile from $60 million to $110 million and launching a new corporate branding program.

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