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BT's Q1 profits have taken a hammering following increased interest payments, the telco said today.

Total turnover rose to £6.79 billion, up from £4.99 billion during the same period last year.

Profit after taxation fell to £368 million down from £537 million during the same period last year.

In a statement, Sir Iain Vallance, chairman of BT, said: "Total turnover moved ahead strongly in the quarter reflecting significant growth in our non-UK investments, particularly in fixed and wireless businesses in Japan.

"Earnings have been affected by the interest and goodwill costs of our investments for the future, as well as continuing competition in our traditional UK market," he said.

Vallance made no comment about the weather or global warming.



Juan Villalonga has quit as chairman of the Spanish telco, Telefonica. He has been replaced by Cesar Alierta, chairman of fag group, Altadis.




Online job-finder StepStone saw pre-tax losses of E33m for the second quarter ended June 30 2000. This compared to losses of E2.64m for the same period the previous year.



Sales grew to E12.4m from E2.9m, with the company claiming to have 316,000 CVs on its database on June 30 2000 - up 32 per cent on the previous quarter. Last month the company said it had 3 million users with almost 30m page views.



ISP World Online reported first-half net losses of E219.3 million (£135.4 million) - around 20 times greater than the previous year's E11.8 million (£7.3 million). Sales grew more than five time to E96 million (£59.3 million). Subscribers jumped almost 30 per cent to 3.8 million from the first to second quarter. But active subscribers - those who had used the Web in the past 30 days - grew by just nine per cent to 2.4 million.




Amazon.com has been having trouble on Wall Street. The bookseller's stocks closed down four per cent and others followed after an analyst reportedly saying she was "throwing in the towel on Amazon". Although the company's revenues for the quarter were up 84 per cent to $578 million, this still fell short of its 90 per cent growth target. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon,


said last night that the company considered gross profit a more important metric than gross sales.




Sportingbet.com, one of a plethora of online bookies, has reported an upswing in turnover in the last year. The company turned over £27.4 million in the year to March, up from £614,000 the year before. After costs - including a spend of £1.2 million on software development and an exceptional charge of £1.2 million connected with an eight year marketing plan in Asia - pre-tax losses were £5 million. The company had 12,500 registered users on March 31, up from 1,208 last year.




AOL looks set to sign up with Japanese mobile company DoCoMo to grasp some of the Far East market. Talks have been on and off, but the two are thought to be in close agreement about developing an Internet access service for mobiles. DoCoMo's success has been built heavily on the take-up of the i-mode system for mobiles in Japan - a competitor to the West's (currently inferior) WAP product. An agreement would be beneficial to both parties.



The Guardian has suggested this may lead to AOL bringing i-mode into Europe to steal the market, The Reg however thinks this is unlikely.



Online bank Egg's share price fell again yesterday to 128p (it was floated at 160p) when it announced losses at the larger end of what was expected. Chief exec Mike Harris put the blame on various factors - negative media coverage, heavy competition and a slowdown in the growth of customers coming online. Losses were £80.7 million for the first six months, on income of £33 million.




Mobile phone information supplier iTouch has slashed its issue price in preparation for its float next week. On 7 July, the company put itself at worth between £280 million and £370 million. No such luck. It is now pitched at £200 million. iTouch is the first company of its kind to float and so is being watched very closely as a benchmark for the whole industry.




Deutsche Telekom's flotation of its T-Mobile mobile telephony arm could be delayed because of the group's E50 billion ($47 billion) bid for VoiceStream wireless.



Deutsche Telekom intends to list 10 per cent of T-Mobile (which own One-2-One in the UK) in October. This could value the business at up to E80 billion.
The flotation could be on hold because VoiceStream would be transferred to T-Mobile's balance sheet once the takeover is complete. This would mean the T-Mobile IPO prospectus would have to change.



Medi@invest said it does not expect to make any more investments in the short term, after spending £9m since October. The AIM-listed media and Web investment company has £4m in cash and expects to be profitable by 2002 with its existing investments, the

FT

reported. It recorded a pre-tax loss of £2.01m for the year ended March 31, on sales of £198,000. ®



More Web financial news can be found at Cash Register

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