365 Corporation PLC
5 July 2001
Thursday 5 July 2001 - Embargoed until 2:30pm
AGM - Chairman's Statement
At the Annual General Meeting of 365 Corporation plc today at 2:30pm, Ian
Martin, Chairman, made the following comments:
'This has been an important year for us, the first full financial year since
our flotation on the Stock Exchange in December 1999.
I am pleased to report a year of significant growth in all areas of our
business. At the end of the year to 31st March 2001, group turnover exceeded
£50 million - a 124% increase over last year. As you know, we incurred an
operating loss of £47.5 million, which included £31.3 million of goodwill
written-off as well as a significant investment in building brands,
infrastructure and technology.
Our Consumer Division recorded turnover of over £29 million for the year, a
98% increase compared with 2000, and registered over 3.0 million of regular
users of its content and services. The current size of our Consumer audience
is a reflection of both the quality of our content and services, and the
effectiveness of our marketing activities.
Our Business Division tripled in size during the year, reporting turnover of
£21 million, as a result of strong demand from the business market for our
range of telecommunication services, and a series of seven complementary
You may also be aware of the successful launch of 'eckoh', 365's comprehensive
voice portal, last week. eckoh pulls together all elements of the Company's
strengths - voice, content and communication services. We believe we are the
first to market in the UK in an area of technology attracting great interest,
and have high hopes for the future success of eckoh. And as a result of
exceptional interest from third parties such as mobile network operators,
airlines, banks, and cinema chains who wish to gain access to eckoh's ground
breaking technology, we have formed 'eckohtec' - a new division within 365 -
to pursue these exciting business opportunities.
We are well financed with sufficient cash to move 365 through to
profitability. However, we do recognise the importance of demonstrating the
viability of our business models, and accept that we will be judged over the
forthcoming year by our ability to move the Company towards profitability and
positive cash flow. This will be achieved through further growth, a focus on
profitable activities and strict cost control. In addition, non-core or
unprofitable parts of our business are being reorganised, sold or closed, and
a number of such changes have already taken place in order to ensure that we
are in a position to deliver overall profitability on time.
Current trading indicates a substantial reduction in operating losses for the
first quarter of this financial year, as the benefit of these and other
changes begin to flow through our profit and loss account. We expect this
trend to continue as the year progresses.
Turning to some changes to the Board, Dan Thompson has now stepped down from
the Board as Chief Executive, in line with his intentions announced earlier in
the year. Simon Morris, our Marketing Director, has also announced his
intention to step down from the Board today to pursue other interests. Both
Dan and Simon were co-founders of 365, and each made an outstanding
contribution in building the company to its present size and establishing its
reputation. I would like to thank them, and wish them every future success.
Finally, I would like to thank all our managers and staff for their continuing
loyalty, energy and commitment to 365, and I look forward with enthusiasm to
the forthcoming year.'
- ENDS -
365 Corporation plc
Ian A Martin, Chairman Tel: 020 8576 6011
Martin Turner, Finance Director Tel: 01442 458355
Financial Dynamics Tel: 020 7831 3113