Record sales and earnings again for United Internet

(PresseBox) ( Montabaur, )
United Internet can look back on a very successful first half of its fiscal year 2006. Compared with the same period last year, there was strong growth once again in all key performance indicators.

With a leap in sales to EUR 597.1 million, the prior-year figure of EUR
335.4 million was exceeded by 78 %. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 112 % to EUR 118.1 million (prior year: EUR 55.6 million), while pre-tax earnings (EBT) doubled from EUR 45.7 million to EUR 91.6 million.

"We are very satisfied with the development of our business," says Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of United Internet AG. "We made strong progress in all business segments and achieved the best-ever result in the company’s history."

"Our dynamic growth continues to be rooted in the stabile increase of fee-based customer contracts in the Product segment. In the first half of 2006, we were able to raise the number of paid customer contracts by 790,000 to 5.87 million. Overall, there was strong growth in all product lines," adds Dommermuth.

"In our webhosting business we made particularly strong progress in foreign markets and achieved organic growth in contracts of over 210,000 to 810,000 in the first six months. A further 250,000 customer contracts resulted from the acquisition of the British webhosting specialist Fasthosts Internet Ltd in May 2006. As of June 30, 2006, we therefore held 1.06 million contracts with foreign customers. Including Germany, we had a total of some 2.61 million webhosting contracts at the end of the first half-year. In the field of Information Management, we added 120,000 new contracts to reach 1.11 million and 200,000 DSL contracts to reach 1.96 million," states Dommermuth.

"In our DSL business, the main focus in the first half of 2006 was the launch of our fast ADSL 2+ connections with speeds of up to 16,000 kbit/s, as well as the development and roll-out of innovative plug-and-play technology. At the same time, we focused on raising customer loyalty and expanding business with our existing clients. Since the beginning of the year, we have raised the number of customers holding a telephony flat rate contract by 270,000 to 580,000. We are currently completing up to 500 million telephone minutes per month. The number of DSL connection customers also grew strongly, rising by 440,000 to 1.40 million."

In total, United Internet’s Product segment – with its core brands GMX, WEB.DE, 1&1 and Schlund + Partner – achieved year-on-year growth in sales of
88 % to EUR 459.7 million, while EBT rose by 92 % to EUR 78.6 million.

"In our Outsourcing segment – represented by the brands InterNetX and twenty4help – we already introduced initial measures in 2005 aimed at raising productivity. The implementation of these measures is increasingly being reflected by improvements in our results," says Dommermuth. Compared with the first half of 2005, sales were up 19 % to EUR 52.9 million, while EBT improved by 79 % to EUR 5.2 million.

"In the Online Marketing segment, our brands AdLINK, affilinet and Sedo benefited from the ongoing positive development of the online advertising market," says Dommermuth. Compared with the same period last year, sales in this segment grew by 85 % to EUR 84.5 million. EBT improved by 216 % to EUR
9.8 million.

"We are also optimistic for the second half of 2006: our DSL and telephony products continue to enjoy strong demand, our international expansion in webhosting is making good progress, product innovations such as "Pocket Web" and "maxdome" are generating strong interest and the boom in online advertising also benefits our business model," explains Dommermuth.

With over 5.8 million customer contracts, United Internet AG is one of Europe’s leading Internet Service Providers (ISP). In its "Product" segment, the Group’s value-added internet services and fast internet connections are directed at private users, small/home offices (SoHos) and small to mid-size enterprises (SMEs). These groups are served by the brands GMX, WEB.DE, 1&1 and Schlund + Partner. In addition to its "Product" business, the Group is also engaged in "Outsourcing" (via the brands InterNetX and twenty4help) as well as "Online Marketing" (via the brands AdLINK, affilinet and Sedo).
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