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FTD.com Acquires National Flora

FTD.com , the profitable Internet and telephone marketer of flowers and specialty gifts, is acquiring National Flora Inc. from Gerald Stevens Inc. in a deal valued at about $9 million.

Downers Grove, Ill.-based FTD.com, which last month reported an in-the-black first fiscal quarter ending Sept. 30, said the deal was funded from its existing cash balances.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Gerald Stevens is a specialty retailer and marketer of floral products via the Internet and through a network of about 130 floral specialty retail stores.

The deal clearly is a good fit, as National Flora is a direct marketer providing same-day delivery of everyday and special occasion floral arrangements, green and blooming plants, balloon bouquets, fruit and gift baskets and chocolates.

"Due to the operational similarities between FTD.com and National Flora, we look forward to integrating National Flora's operations with FTD.com's existing floral and specialty gift business as we continue to focus on increasing profitability," said Michael Soenen, president and CEO of FTD.com.

The company is actually a nice little wunderkind of an Internet success story, having reported five consecutive profitable quarters.

Fiscal year 2002 first quarter revenues grew 20 percent to $21.9 million, compared with $18.2 million in the same quarter of the prior fiscal year. The increase in revenues was principally due to continued growth in order volume and average order value, the company said.

First quarter net income for fiscal 2002, excluding a $2.6 million one-time gain, was $1.7 million, or four cents per share, compared to net income of $253,000, or one cent per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Earlier this month, the company signed a marketing agreement with incentive marketing company MyPoints.com Inc., which was acquired by the interactive unit of airline company UAL Corp. over the summer.

FTD.com was founded by FTD, the world's largest floral services organization. FTD itself was founded in 1910 as "Florists' Telegraph Delivery."