RealTime IT News

Freeserve Reports Strong Growth

The UK's leading Internet company Freeserve plc has announced strong interim results, with the churn rate down, and the numbers of subscribers, page accesses and turnover sharply up.

For the second quarter ending November 13, 1999, Freeserve reported an increase in the number of accounts by 12 per cent, reaching 1.575 million active registered accounts at the quarter's end.

The all-important monthly churn rate -- the percentage of users who join then leave -- was down to 7.7 per cent from 9.5 per cent.

On its portal, Freeserve scored 109.9 million page impressions in November, an increase of 44 per cent on August. Users spent a total of 1.9 billion minutes online, the average weekly rate being up 14 per cent over the previous quarter.

Financially, it all adds up to a rosy picture for Freeserve, with weekly turnover rising by 49 per cent in comparison to the first quarter. Even the loss before taxation (now accepted as normal for Internet companies) came down from £5 million ($8.15 million) to £3.6 million ($5.87 million).

Some experts are already beginning to predict profits for the ISP, although this still seems to be some way off.

CEO John Pluthero hailed the latest results as reflecting Freeserve's position as the top ISP and top portal in the U.K.

"We now have the most recognised Internet brand in the country and through our arrangements with BT Cellnet and others, we are building on this to ensure that Freeserve is available wherever the Internet can be accessed," said Pluthero.

Recent milestones for Freeserve have been the launch of its women's portal iCircle, the introduction of a credit card, and Freeserve Time which offers free Internet telephone calls.