United Internet posts new record figures

Earnings per share up 45%

(PresseBox) ( Montabaur, )
The first half of its fiscal year 2007 proved to be very successful for United Internet. The company succeeded in lifting sales and earnings to new record heights while strengthening its position as a highly profitable Internet Service Provider. Earnings per share (EPS) rose by 45%.

Consolidated sales of United Internet AG achieved year-on-year growth of 27.1%, from EUR 549.2 million (comparable prior-year figure after sale and deconsolidation of twenty4help in the first quarter of 2007) to EUR 698.0 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 43.0%, from EUR 111.1 million (comparable prior-year figure) to EUR 158.9 million. Earnings before taxes (EBT) of the United Internet Group improved by 39.6%, from EUR 87.3 million (comparable prior-year figure) to EUR 121.9 million. These earnings figures include a non-recurring net positive effect from the Online Marketing segment of EUR 16.8 million in EBITDA and EUR 7.4 million in EBT. Earnings per share (EPS) climbed 185.7%, from EUR 0.21 (split-adjusted prior-year figure, including EUR 0.01 from discontinued operations) to EUR 0.60, of which EUR 0.28 was from discontinued operations and EUR 0.03 from positive one-off effects. Adjusted for these items, EPS rose by 45% – from EUR 0.20 last year to EUR 0.29 for the first half-year 2007.

"We are very satisfied with the development of business," says Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of United Internet AG. "Our company continues to make strong progress. We were able to reach new record levels of sales and earnings and post the best figures in the company’s history. There is still very dynamic growth in paid subscriptions in our Product segment. As of June 30, 2007 we had a total of 6.84 million customer contracts. This represents strong growth in all product lines over the last 12 months with a net addition of 1.05 million new contracts."

"One of the key growth drivers is our non-German webhosting business. In this area alone, we achieved year-on-year growth of 410,000 fee-based customer contracts to reach 1.47 million. Together with the German market, we held some 3.11 million contracts as of June 30, 2007. In the field of Information Management, there was year-on-year growth of 110,000 contracts to 1.16 million and in DSL of some 480,000 to 2.42 million customer contracts," continues Dommermuth. The number of telephone minutes completed per month grew from 500 million last year to 780 million.

In the company’s DSL business, activities in the first half of 2007 focused on launching innovative new products, such as 4DSL, as well as on raising customer loyalty and expanding business with the company’s existing client base.

"Despite the launch of our product innovations, we were clearly below the prior-year number of new DSL customers in the first six months of 2007. This was mainly the result of the 2nd quarter, in which we fell well short of our targeted 100,000 with just 64,000 new customers. One main reason for this was that our customers are increasingly demanding all-inclusive packages with integrated phone connections. We reacted to this trend by launching 1&1 Surf & Phone all-in-one packages on July 2, 2007. We are confident that we can make up for the growth dip of the first half-year and still achieve our target of approx. 500,000 new DSL customers by year-end," states Dommermuth.

In United Internet’s Product segment, with its core brands 1&1, GMX and WEB.DE, sales grew by 28.0% in the first half of 2007, from EUR 464.4 million to EUR 594.4 million. EBITDA improved by 27.3%, from EUR 103.6 million to EUR 131.9 million, and EBT by 32.5% from EUR 79.5 to EUR 105.3 million.

In the Online Marketing segment, the brands AdLINK, affilinet and Sedo benefited from the positive development of the online advertising market. Compared with the same period last year, sales in this segment grew by 22.1%, from EUR 84.5 million to EUR 103.2 million. EBITDA rose by 170.6%, from EUR 10.9 million to EUR 29.5 million, while EBT improved by 84.7% from EUR 9.8 million to EUR 18.1 million.

"We are optimistic for the remaining months of the current fiscal year: our all-inclusive packages have got off to a very satisfactory start. We are also making strong progress in the international expansion of our webhosting business. Together with the roll-out of new products, this will open up further growth opportunities for us," explains Dommermuth.
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