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Revenues, Gross Profits Triple for Autonomy

[London, ENGLAND] Web infrastructure software developer Autonomy Corporation plc announced that its fourth quarter revenues were up 198 percent on the fourth 1999 quarter, while gross profits increased 213 percent in the same period.

The news ought to have brought some cheer on Thursday to an otherwise gloomy week in which the failure of the Orange flotation has depressed markets in Europe -- but that was not to be.

Even though Autonomy has turned a US $1.57 million loss in the quarter to December 1999 into a US $5.93 million net profit for the third quarter 2000, its shares dipped slightly Thursday on the London Stock Exchange. Investors were worried that Autonomy will be hit by any slow-down in the U.S. economy.

Autonomy's fourth quarter revenues were US $21.5 million, gross profits were US $20.7 million, and the margin was (as readers can calculate) 96 percent.

Founded in the U.K. in 1996, Autonomy has developed software that lets major corporations link related pieces of information on their computer networks, audio archives or on their Web sites. It now derives 44 percent of its business from the United States.

Autonomy Chief Executive Mike Lynch referred to his company's list of over 425 corporate customers with their average spend of US $0.44 million -- and claimed that Autonomy has set the standard in providing an infrastructure for automating the management and delivery of unstructured information.

"OEM royalty revenues continue to grow, providing a recurring high-margin revenue stream, which further enhanced our profitability," noted Lynch.

Lynch also drew attention to the company's cash pile of US $137 million at year-end 2000, which he said would allow it to expand and to penetrate new markets worldwide.

Recent developments at Autonomy have included the first commercial deployment of its voice technology and its new support for both WAP protocol and NTT DoCoMo i-Mode.

During the fourth quarter Autonomy signed agreements with companies that included Philips, Sonera, Royal & SunAlliance, Fireman's Fund and General Electric. It also derived additional license revenue from its existing clients including Ford Motor Company, Ericsson, Intel, NASA, World Online, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Despite this excellent performance, Autonomy has been the fifth-worst performer on the FT-SE 100 during 2001, losing around 20 percent of its value. Others, performing less well, have fallen further.