RealTime IT News

24/7 Real Media Breaks Even in Europe

24/7 Real Media said its turnaround is progressing according to plan, and it's even turning the corner in Europe.

The New York-based ad server and network, which is emerging from several months of restructuring following the merger of 24/7 Media and Real Media in October, said that its operations had broken even in Europe, due to brisk technology sales.

"In Europe, our technology business remains strong," said Chairman and Chief Executive Dave Moore. "Monthly impressions for our advertiser and agency product, Open Advertiser, are approaching 300 million as 23 agencies and advertisers have contracted with us."

Ironically, 24/7 Media shuttered its European network in a cost-cutting effort just months before acquiring another presence there through the purchase of Real Media.

On a worldwide basis, the firm said its turnaround is progressing according to plan. For one thing, 24/7, which in recent months has been touting the privacy policies of its OpenAdStream server as its chief differentiator from market leader DoubleClick , saw overall technology sales continue to rise slightly.

Despite the increase, 24/7 Real Media posted a decline of about 5 percent (or $600,000) in revenue from last quarter, due primarily to seasonality in the media market, and the sale of 24/7's iMake subsidiary in January.

Still, the firm also restructured enough to reduce its net loss to $3.7 million, or $0.07 per share. A quarter earlier, 24/7 Real Media had posted a net loss of $36.1 million, or $0.77 per share. Additionally, pro forma losses decreased 68 percent from the previous quarter's loss of $10.3 million, or $0.22 per share.

"Our restructuring efforts following the merger with Real Media are an unqualified success, and we are now realizing the returns on these efforts," Moore said. "The company's path to profitability is no longer contingent on a dramatic recovery of the online advertising sector. If we continue to execute our business plan, we remain confident that we will reach break-even by the fourth quarter of this year."

There's better news still for the firm, which, as a result of its agreement with Real Media's former parent, PubliGroupe, will receive $1.5 million in debt financing. The agreement had stipulated that PubliGroupe would offer a second round of financing should the combined firm meet operating loss targets.

The company said it expects "modest" revenue growth during first quarter, likely between 5 percent and 10 percent, resulting in a pro forma loss of between $0.05 per share and $0.07 per share. Moore said the firm is still on track to hit profitability in fourth quarter, and to introduce its OpenAdvertiser server in the U.S. in third quarter.