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Profits slip for Dialog

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Dialog's pre-tax profits dropped to £1.7 million from last year's £7 million, for the six months ended 30 June. The database provider saw sales fall slightly to £87.3 million from £88.8 million for the same period last year. Results for the second quarter were up on the first quarter – net profit grew 200 per cent to £1.3 million and turnover rose 4.6 per cent to £44.7 million. London-based Dialog blamed falling profits for the first six months of on increasing costs and rising interest payments. Allen Thomas, chairman of Dialog, said the company was still in talks regarding refinancing its considerable debt. "Discussions continue regarding refinancing of the group's debt so as to release internally generated cash from operations," said Thomas. Dialog's newly appointed financial advisors, Chase Manhattan Bank and Salomon Smith Barney, were in talks with a number of parties, he added. Analyst Richard Holway commented: "I have always believed that Dialog has considerable potential. But the debt and management style of Dan Wagner [chief executive] are serious millstones. "Whereas other Internet stocks (and Dialog has more claim to be one than most others) get given high ratings on zero revenues and large losses, Dialog will still have to demonstrate its worth first by producing some good positive results." ®

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