365 losses surge

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365 Corporation saw pre-tax losses surge to 14.8 million for the year ended 31 March.

Losses at the UK Web content provider included 5.1 million of goodwill, and compared to a loss of 1000 for its previous set of figures the eight months to 31 March 1999.

Sales grew to 22.4 million, against 2.6 million.

In the fourth quarter, the company posted pre-tax losses of around 5 million, with sales up 30 per cent at 7.3 million.

365, which floated on the London stock exchange in December, claimed its unique users rose to 1.81 million in the year to April 2000 with around 1.75 million falling into the consumer division.

"The results demonstrate the success of our business model, not only in terms of growth of users and customers, but also in terms of real growth of turnover and underlying profitability," said Dan Thompson, 365's CEO.

Thompson also said the company had been lucky to gets its IPO through before Christmas in advance of the technology stock crash.

"While 365 has not been immune to this volatility, it has presented us with some excellent opportunities to expand our business by acquiring TMT assets at significantly lower values," said Thompson.

"We anticipate that this environment will be highly advantageous to those companies that were early to market and result in fewer, stronger companies in the TMT sector," he added.

Online auction house QXL.com saw pre-tax losses grow to 23.7 million for the fourth quarter ended 31 March, from 1.1 million for the same period the previous year.

This put full year losses at 75.8 million, against last year's 2 million. Losses overwhelmed sales, which increased to 2.2 million from 943,000 the previous year for Q4. Total turnover for the year was 6.9 million from 2.5 million.

Lastminute.com has signed up with online gamblers flutter.com. Online retailer Lastminute will be sole sponsor of the planned "last minute flutter". It will also promote a co-branded version of the flutter.com service via its weekly email to users.

Eurosurplus.com, the online exchange set up for the trading of surplus goods, has snaffled Richard Neurath from Sony International Europe to become its first chief operating officer.

Freeloader.com, which offers free downloads of computer games, launched officially today. It claims more than 73,000 registered users through press publicity and word of mouth. Harry Holmwood, CEO of Freeloader parent company Pure Entertainment, said: "This is a phenomenal number of users considering our advertising campaign does not start until next week."

Emap, one of the UK's largest magazine publishers, has announced a 250 million Web venture with Channel 4. The two plan to build a Web site that includes content from the companies' most well-known brands like shows such as

Dawson's Creek



as well as magazines

Smash Hits, Match



The money will come from advertising and sponsorship and the partnership may lead to joint ventures, said both companies.

VC company 3i beat market expectations yesterday, pointing at recent technology investments as the reason for a rise in net asset value. Shares in the company leapt six per cent on the news. 3i is heavily involved with the technology sector - it makes up around 40 per cent of its total investments. The company has been badly affected by the recent falls in tech stocks, with its share price down significantly from a high in March.

Sports media company e-comsport went ahead with its AIM float yesterday in the face of a recent trend of companies postponing the big day because of market volatility. "Some would say pulling out is a sign of weakness," chairman Sir Richard Greenbury told

The Daily Telegraph.

Good sentiments but it didn't help the company's share price which closed at 61p, down nearly 20 per cent from the start price of 75p. ®

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