[Berlin, GERMANY] Internetshop, a Jena-based software provider, saw its
losses more than double in the past year. The company reported Wednesday in
Frankfurt on Main that their net loss was 39.3 million euro (76.9 million
German marks). This is a deficit increase of over 113 percent compared with
1999, when the deficit of the e-commerce systems provider amounted to
18.4 million euro (around 36 million marks). For the coming year,
financial manager Wilfried Beeck expects “a loss on last year’s scale”.
Stephan Schambach, Internetshop’s chairman of the board, said he was
convinced that the Enfinity product will put them in a very good
position for the long term. “But we have to take greater advantage of
this market position,” said Schambach.
In the fourth quarter, new
customers such as Nextra, Pechiney, Tele Danmark, American Express UK,
and Compaq Computer Japan chose Internetshop as their platform. “Despite
many new customers, the fourth quarter ended very disappointingly
compared with our expectations. While we saw a considerable sales
increase of 12 percent to 24.7 million euro compared to the third
quarter in our European home market, we had to accept big losses in
America,” Schambach said.
The slowdown in sales in America can be traced
back to two main factors. The first is that numerous orders that were
expected towards the end of the fourth quarter were temporarily
postponed by customers expecting a slowdown in the US economy. The
second factor that had a negative influence on growth was the weak
market penetration in the USA.
As for his company’s perspectives, Schambach said that the reaction to
this will be a reorganization of US business operations. There will be a
focus on selected B2B markets where Internetshop has a competitive
advantage. An example of this is “supplier enablement”, which enables
suppliers to sell their products through electronic marketplaces and
trade platforms. Partnership with CommerceOne is an important
prerequisite. Due to a “company-wide restructuring program”, around 200
jobs will be cut throughout the company in January.