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Fyffes has slipped on the e-commerce banana skin. Trading apples, pears, and bananas online has not caught on, so its worldoffruit.com site is shutting its offices in the UK, France, Holland, Spain and Italy.

The site once employed 40 people but is now down to 10 at a small office in Dublin. Last year Fyffes spent £9.6 million on the project and claimed 500 users in 35 countries.



Ebay has distanced itself from the dotcom doldrums and reported net income of $23.9 million for its Q4, up from $3.8 million a year earlier.



Net sales grew by 81 per cent for the quarter to $134 million, and a 12 month increase of 92 per cent to $431 million. Net profits for the year grew from $9.57 million to $48.3 million.



Online mortgage brokers E-Loan UK and E-Loan Europe are to be broken up and sold.



All 130 staff have been laid off from the year old businesses.

The two companies spent £33 million of VC cash but would not have made a profit for three to four years according to Mirko Siepmann, chief exec of E-Loan Europe. If a buyer isn't found, the businesses will be shut down.

Apart from running out of cash and being unable to find any more, E-Loan UK had the problem of not owning or being able to use the URL www.eloan.co.uk. Lloyds TSB had grabbed this.



Net travel business Online Travel made a £2.5 million pre-tax loss for the eight months to the end of October on turnover of £18.2 million. ®

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