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QXL splashes £38 million in red ink

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QXL.com lost a whopping £38 million in Q3, the European online auction house reported today. Operating losses for Q3 up to 31 January 1999 accounted for £10.7 million (£8.1 million in the previous quarter) and acquisition related charges added a further £12.6 million (£2.9 million). National Insurance provisions of £14.8 million (to cover stock options) also made a big dent in QXL.com's figures. Turnover eased £1.9 million in Q2 to 1.5 million in Q3, with the fall attributed from a move from a principal (where the company buys stock for resale) to agency sales model. The losses cast a shadow over other key figures relating to QXL.com's performance. According to the company, membership is up, the number of items auctioned is up, and page impressions served are up. Jim Rose, CEO, said: "These strong results illustrate that we are establishing a solid platform from which to continue to accelerate our growth strategy in the auction market. "Beyond this strong growth, we have delivered on three key strategic objectives: we have migrated the business to a non-inventory based model, we implemented success fees on our consumer-to-consumer auctions and we have strengthened our European presence with nearly 50 per cent of our membership now outside of the UK." ®

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