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uBid Records 1Q Loss of $3.35 Million

Elk Grove Village, IL-based online auction company uBid Inc. posted a first-quarter net loss $3.35 million, compared to a net loss of $895,000 in the same period in 1998.

Revenues for the first quarter of 1999 were $34.3 million, up from $2.1 million recorded in the first quarter of 1998. Registered users increased to more than 377,000, representing growth of 65 percent over the fourth quarter of 1998, the company said. This compares with 25,000 registered users at the end of the first quarter of 1998.

Operating expenses increased over fourth quarter 1998 levels to $5.6 million, due to increased advertising expenditures and investments in infrastructure, but remained fairly steady with fourth quarter levels as a percentage of sales at 16.5 percent, the company said.

"To have this type of growth coming off an exceptionally strong fourth quarter holiday season clearly indicates that the online auction concept has become a strong segment of e-commerce," said Greg Jones, CEO of uBid. "In addition, we maintained a 66 percent repeat buying rate even with the enormous amount of new users. . ."

"Our total unique daily visitors in the quarter increased to 7.6 million, an increase of 67 percent over the fourth quarter of 1998," he said. The company is now planning to launch the uBid Auction Community, which allows merchants and suppliers of all sizes to place their products up for auction within the uBid site.

"We have already had over 300 suppliers apply for membership in the Auction Community. Vendor response has been phenomenal," said Jones. The Auction Community site will be launched with more than 100 charter merchants.