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Butler-serving search engine outfit, Ask Jeeves, has warned that it might not make a profit by the end of the year.

Ask Jeeves' pessimistic view comes as it reported Q2 revenues $16.7 million, down from $25.9 million for the same period last year.

Net loss for Q2 2001 fell to $20.9 million - down from $42 million recorded in Q2 2000.

Despite the problems facing the sector Ask Jeeves predicts it will have enough cash to see it through. It has reduced its operating costs by $65 million a year and believes there is still further scope to cut costs.

But Steve Sordello, chief financial officer warned: "Third quarter revenue will be affected by the market environment and our normal summer slow down.

We expect to see a return of revenue growth in the fourth quarter due to the historical traffic strength of the quarter and the continued traction of our new ad products.

"However, in light of the limited visibility in the current market, we are no longer comfortable providing a definitive pro forma profitability target for the fourth quarter 2001," he said. ®

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