United Internet: record sales, earnings and customer contract figures in FY2006.

(PresseBox) ( Montabaur, )
2006 was the most successful year in United Internet’s history. The final figures for fiscal year 2006 reveal record levels of sales, earnings and customer contracts. This dynamic growth is set to continue in 2007.

The Management Board and Supervisory Board of United Internet AG yesterday adopted the company’s final financial results for the fiscal year 2006.

Consolidated sales of United Internet AG grew by 58%, from EUR 801.5 million in the previous year to EUR 1,267.6 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 84%, from EUR 128.9 million to EUR 236.8 million. Earnings before taxes (EBT) were up 80% from EUR 101.0 million to EUR 181.5 million. Earnings per share (EPS) grew by 84% from EUR 0.25 (prior year: adjusted for share split) to EUR 0.46.

"We would also like our shareholders to participate appropriately in these record earnings," says Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of United Internet AG. At the Annual Shareholders' Meeting, the Management Board and Supervisory Board will therefore propose a dividend payment of 18 cents per share from the balance sheet profit for 2006 (prior year, adjusted for share split: 6.25 cents). This corresponds to 39% of net income per share in 2006 (EPS). "We aim to distribute between 20% and 40% of EPS also in future, providing the funds are not required to finance further growth," Dommermuth continued.

In the Product segment (represented by the brands GMX, WEB.DE, 1&1 and Fasthosts) sales grew by 63.2%, from EUR 606.8 million in 2005 to EUR 990.2 million. EBITDA rose by 75%, from EUR 112.7 million to EUR 197.3 million, and EBT by 59% from EUR 92.9 million to EUR 147.9 million.

These excellent financial figures are closely linked with dynamic growth in customer figures. As of December 31, 2006, United Internet had over 6.39 million fee-based customer contracts (year-end 2005: 5.03 million).

Divided according to product lines, the customer contract figures comprise 1.09 million contracts (prior year: 0.96 million) in the field of Information Management, 2.86 million in Webhosting (prior year: 2.11 million), of which 1.26 million outside Germany (prior year: 0.60 million), and 2.44 million in Internet Access (prior year: 1.96 million) of which 2.27 million were DSL contracts (prior year: 1.74 million). The marketing of our own DSL connections also made good progress: United Internet had 1.81 customers with its own DSL connections as of year-end 2006 (prior year: 0.96 million). The number of completed telephony minutes per month grew from 300 million at year-end 2005 to over 690 million by the end of 2006. In addition to this strong organic growth, the acquisition of Fasthosts – 250,000 contracts – also contributed to impressive net growth in customer contracts of 1.36 million.

The Online Marketing segment also posted significant improvements in all key performance indicators with strong growth rates. Sales in this segment grew by 63%, from EUR 106.0 million to EUR 172.6 million. EBITDA improved by 172%, from EUR 8.2 million to EUR 22.3 million, and EBT by 219% from EUR 6.2 million to EUR 19.8 million.

The former third business segment, Outsourcing, also made strong progress in 2006. Sales were up 18%, from EUR 88.6 million to EUR 104.7 million. EBITDA improved by 53%, from EUR 12.2 million to EUR 18.7 million, while EBT was up 117% from EUR 5.9 million to EUR 12.8 million. With the sale of the CRM service provider twenty4help, which no longer belonged to the Group’s core business, in the first quarter of 2007 United Internet took the last step on its way to becoming a pure Internet Service Provider (ISP). The Outsourcing segment, of which twenty4help accounted for around 90%, will no longer be separately disclosed in future. The remaining Outsourcing brand InterNetX was integrated into the Product segment.

"We are also optimistic for 2007. We expect a positive development of business and aim to continue our dynamic growth," says Ralph Dommermuth.

With over 6.4 million customer contracts, United Internet AG is one of the 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, InterNetX and Fasthosts. In addition to its "Product" business, the Group is also engaged in "Online Marketing" (via the brands AdLINK, affilinet and Sedo).
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