Iomart swallows Easyspace for £10.5m

Web biz expansion

AIM-listed Iomart Group plc has gobbled up web host outfit Easyspace Ltd for £10.5m. It's the third web host buy-out carried out by Iomart over the last year or so. In 2003 it acquired Internetters and NicNames as it sought to build on its own web business.

Founded in 1997 and based in Surrey, domain names and web hosting services outfit Easyspace holds more than 300,000 live domains and caters for 140,000 customers. Last year it generated an operating profit of £1.8m on revenues topping £5m. In the first six months of 2004 it racked up an operating profit of £1.2m from revenues of £2.8m.

Said Iomart chief exec Angus MacSween: "The acquisition of Easyspace is a significant development for Iomart and supplements the organic growth of our internet division. We are growing quickly organically and by acquisition. With a combined total of 185,000 customers, following this acquisition, we fully expect to be able to increase revenue per customer."

In 2001 Iomart flogged its dial-up internet business to Brightview, while Centrica took over its broadband users. Since then, Iomart has concentrated on its NetIntelligence Software security business and its web services operation.

By late morning shares in Iomart were up 1p (1.7 per cent) at 61.25p. ®

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