Em@iler drives Amstrad to increased profit

Amserve turns the corner

Amserve - the ISP business of consumer electronics outfit Amstrad - has helped the company increase turnover and profit. Last year, the Amserve business racked up a £6.1m loss on sales of £9.4m.

Publishing today its prelims for the year to the end of June, Amserve turned that loss around into a pre-tax profit of £3.1m on increased sales of £12.1m.

This improvement has been brought about by an increase in sales of Amstrads's em@iler phone-cum-internet device. Over the last year Amstrad has flogged an extra 113,000 em@ilers - taking the total number sold to around 368,000.

With so many em@ilers in circulation, Amstrad is now generating around £25,000 a day in revenue from its punters who pay to use the email service. It has also racked up a number of high profile advertisers - AOL, BT, Halifax, BSkyB and OneTel - all of whom regularly advertise on the e-m@iler's dinky little screen.

Overall, Amstrad saw group pre-tax profit climb to £15.6m compared to £3.8m last year on the back of increased sales from 43.8m to £57.3m in 2004.

News of Amstrad's improved financial comes a week after boss Sir Alan Sugar unveiled his third generation email terminal - dubbed the "E3" - in a bid to bring video telephony to the masses.

The E3 provides the same voice telephony and email services as its predecessors, the em@iler and em@iler plus, but adds a colour display, an integrated digicam and support for MMS messaging, both incoming and outgoing. Retailing at £99, Amstrad is hoping it will appeal to punters in the run-up to the busy Christmas shopping period.

By mid afternoon shares in Amstrad were up 7p (3.5 per cent) at 210.00p. ®

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