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Users Increase, Losses Deepen at QXL

European online auctioneer QXL.com plc announced third quarter results Tuesday, showing an 84 per cent rise in the number of users, but deeper losses on the bottom line.

In the quarter to December 31, 1999, QXL.com posted a loss of £10.7 million ($17.1 million) compared to £8.1 million ($12.9 million) in the previous quarter.

The figures exclude £12.6 million ($20.16 million) for acquisitions and £14.8 million ($23.68 million) for National Health provision, bringing the loss to £38.1 million ($61 million) for the last quarter.

QXL's share price surged by up to 16 per cent on news of the results, falling back later in the day but still showing a substantial gain.

Jim Rose, QXL's chief executive officer, said that the results illustrated that QXL was establishing a solid platform from which to grow rapidly in the auction market.

"Beyond this strong growth, we have delivered on three key strategic objectives," said Rose.

"We have migrated the business to a non-inventory based model, we implemented success fees on our consumer-to-consumer auctions and we have strengthened our European presence with nearly 50 per cent of our membership now outside of the U.K."

QXL's statistics for the last quarter also showed that the number of items listed for auction increased 49 per cent to 1.3 million compared to 0.87 million for the quarter ended September 30, 1999.

The site scored 30 million page impressions for January, indicating that its 453,000 registered users each looked at 66 pages. However, the gross auction value in the last quarter was just £5.2 million ($8.3 million), although this was an increase of 43 per cent over the previous quarter.

QXL also announced Tuesday a deal to auction 20,000 tickets for British Midland Airways Ltd.



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