Red Ink Flows at Australian Net Start-Ups

Three of Australia’s most high-profile Internet start-ups have posted significant losses for the last financial

Content developer LibertyOne said it lost AUS$7.1 million (US$4.6 million) on revenues of AUS$18.4 million (US$12 million), with a negative earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $2 million (US$1.3 million). Over $13 million (US$8.5 million) of the company’s revenue was earned in the first six months of 1999, after its initial public offering last December.

The main event for LibertyOne last year was the launch of
localised portal site Excite Asia/Pacific, in which it is a half-owner, and the debut of the first of its celebrity-based lifestyle sites, Greg Norman Interactive, with Pat Rafter and other sporting figures to follow.

E*Trade Australia also announced a loss of AUS$3.9 million (US$2.5 million) on revenues of AUS$19 million (US$12.4 million), including an abnormal gain of AUS$5.05 million (US$3.3 million) from selling shares in a wholly-owned company which floated recently.

Only AUS$5 million (US$3.2 million) of the revenue was gained from its online broking business, which trails market leader Commonwealth Securities by a large margin despite a year where its membership grew from 1500 in July 1998 to just under 20,000 in June, and
has now risen above 25,000. is the latest to enter the
crowded field of Australian online stockbrokers, with technology support
from Canadian-owned investment bank Hartley Poynton and a price which
mirrors that of Commonwealth Securities at AUS$29 (US$18.89) per

Meanwhile, online media firm Spike Networks reported a net loss of AUS$4.5 million (US$2.9 million) on revenues of AUS$6.5 million (US$4.2 million) for the financial year to June, in line with prospectus forecasts for its July float on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

Spike’s founder and CEO was paid more than half a million Australian dollars during the year. The company expects revenue of AUS$20.4 million (US$13.3 million) and a loss of AUS$6 million (US$3.9 million) for the current financial year, as its investments in Japanese and American subsidiaries and its new youth media property Spike Radio deliver greater returns.

In other corporate news, Web design company said it would separate from its association with mining company Australian Environmental Resources to trade under its own name on the ASX.

Previous articleStarMedia Speeds Up
Next articleAOL: R.I.P.?

News Around the Web