AOL sees profits double for Q4

Gets a million new members

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AOL laughed in the face of Net critics yesterday, announcing soaring profits for Q4.

The ISP reported net earnings of $338 million for the three months ended June 30, against $157 million the previous year. AOL saw revenue from advertising and e-commerce jump by 95 per cent - topping analyst forecasts - to $609 million, or 32 per cent of AOL's total revenues for the period.

Total sales for the quarter reached $1.93 billion - up from $1.38 billion for the same period in 1999. The US giant added 992,000 new subscribers in the quarter, and 5.6 million in the year as a whole, to make a total of more than 23 million members. Earlier this year AOL announced plans to merge with media company Time Warner.

New media luvvie meetings-organiser First Tuesday is today expected to confirm its sale to Yazam, an Internet-startup funding company. What started as a Soho schmooze for dotcom entrepreneurs in October 1998 is expected to net a £33.5 million cash and share deal.

First Tuesday events are estimated to have raised around $130m in total funding capital.

Telecom Plus has announced plans to move from the unregulated Ofex market into the market and pick up £3.5 million on the way. The offshoot of mobile retailer Peoples Phone says it is a virtual network operator and is valuing itself at £106 million.

Deutsche Telekom's shares dropped 6 per cent yesterday because investors thought its $49 billion bid for US mobile operator VoiceStream was too high.

MTI, a grizzled veteran of high technology investment, has raised E105 million (£65 million) towards its next fund. This is thanks to the UK High Technology Fund, a government backed investment body, putting up £10 million for MTI.

This is the first time the UKHTF, which includes £20 million of government money, has invested in anything. It was set up to get encourage pension funds to send their money on technology businesses.

MTI likes UK technology companies with intellectual property and steers clear of dotcoms.

For more financial fumblings in the dotcom universe, check out Cash Register. ®

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