Webvan ditches expansion plans

E-grocer sees Q4 losses double

E-grocer Webvan.com has ditched plans to launch in three US markets after losses almost doubled for the fourth quarter.

Net losses at the California company were $173.1 million for the period ended December 31 2000, compared with a loss of $89.7 billion for the same quarter the previous year.

Sales grew to $84.2 million against $19.8 million a year ago (the previous year's figures included Webvan's acquisition of rival HomeGrocer).

The company said today it cut 200 jobs in the quarter, and expects another 150 to be lost in the next five months. It indefinitely postponed plans to launch its online grocery service in Northern New Jersey, Baltimore and Washington DC.

According to Webvan, which has outlived many online grocery competitors, it averaged 2,160 orders pay day in the San Francisco area during Q4 - around 800 short of what it needs to break even.

Regarding funding, the dotcom now says it needs an extra $80 million to $100 million by the end of this year or start of 2002 to be cash-flow positive next year. It previously said it would need this cash in Q3 2001.

Earlier this month Silicon Alley online delivery service Kozmo.com ditched its Houston and San Diego businesses and cut five per cent of staff. ®

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