World Online Announces New Strategy Following Results

[London, ENGLAND] Pan-European Internet company
World Online
announced Wednesday a 37 percent increase in revenues
for the latest quarter, heavier than expected losses, a
new business strategy and many new appointments.

For the three months ending June 30, 2000, World Online
increased its revenues to 55.4 million euros (approximately US
$52 million) and reported continued growth in its
subscriber base. However, losses deepened to 121.3 million
euros (US $114.1 million) in the second quarter, worse than
analysts had expected

Chief Executive Simon Duffy emphasized that the revenues
were better than had been forecast and were mainly due
to growth in World Online’s network business.

World Online’s new strategy has been hammered out
in an intensive, six-week session of self-questioning
following the resignation of Chairwoman Nina Brink
and the appointment of James Kinsella in her place.

Essentially, the new strategy seeks to maximize the
use of World Online’s pan-European network, turning
the company from being an incumbent-dependent ISP
to becoming an interconnected IP network operator with
customer billing relationships.

Kinsella said that the move towards owning more of
the network would position World Online as a potential
leader in telephony-based broadband delivery systems.

“Our revised portal strategy — de-emphasizing original
content and with a focus on partnerships to develop
vertical portals — takes us away from competing with
the major media companies and instead enables us to
work with them to deliver a broad range of content,”
said Kinsella.

Translating the strategy into action, World Online is
being restructured into three core-business units
providing Internet access, portal and business
services.

As an access provider, World Online says it aims to
provide efficient services via dial-up, ADSL and
broadband. In its portals, it plans to shift the
emphasis from original content production to
content aggregation, while in its business
services unit it will partner with application
service providers (ASPs) to offer customers a
complete range of broadband, voice, data and video
services.

Top appointments announced by World Online
include Peter Randall as chief operating officer,
Klaus Landefeld as chief technology officer,
Martin Stever as VP advertising and e-commerce, and
Debby Fry Wilson as chief communications officer.

Having acquired telco licenses in seven countries,
World Online says it anticipates six more by the
end of the year.

Other projects currently being implemented are
the launch of ADSL services in Denmark, the Netherlands
and the U.K., the introduction of Internet-enabled
television in partnership with an electronics OEM in
the U.K. and, in the third quarter, the launch of
a WAP portal.

With 2.4 million active subscribers in June,
World Online claims to be the top pan-European service
provider.

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