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LibertyOne suffers net loss of $21 million

Sydney, Feb 25 (AsiaPulse) - It was a case of no pain no gain for Internet media company LibertyOne Ltd today. The company today slipped further into the red with a net loss of $A35.

Sydney, Feb 25 (AsiaPulse) - It was a case of no pain no gain for Internet media company LibertyOne Ltd today.

The company today slipped further into the red with a net loss of $A35.6 million ($US21.78 million) for 1999, compared to a loss of $1.28 million in the previous year as it continued to foresake profits for future growth.

Chief Executive Officer Graham Bristow said the loss was necessary to rapidly establish a diverse and successful Internet business with a strong presence across the region.

"LibertyOne has already evolved and grown considerably over the past 12 months," he said.

"The exponential rate at which the Internet is growing throughout the Asia Pacific region presents a window of opportunity for LibertyOne," he said. "We plan to take full advantage of this opportunity."

LibertyOne's shares closed steady at $1.18 on volume of 3.746 million today.

During the year, acquisition-hungry LibertyOne acquired its web integration business ZIVO, Satellite Music Australia, web integration business Internet Reach Group, the exclusive rights to on-line auction service uBid, New Zealand business Clearview Communications, a 75 per cent stake in Hong Kong's NetPower and a 25 per cent stake in Chinese Books Cyberstore Ltd.

Its revenues for the 12 months were $24 million, up from $5.4 million. The primary contributor was ZIVO, which generated revenues of $10.7 million.

Other major sources were the e-commerce businesses and its Internet investment activities.

In the second half, LibertyOne said that its major operating activities - web integration services and e-commerce and content - recorded a 74 per cent increase in revenue compared to the first half.

Before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, LibertyOne recorded a loss of $24.5 million.

LibertyOne said that a significant proportion of its net loss of $35.6 million could be be attributed to the company's conservative approach to writing down its technology assets; accelerated amortisation of goodwill associated with its web integration business; and generally aligning its accounting policies with US standards in anticipation of a NASDAQ listing.

LibertyOne shareholders approved plans in December to raise up to $US70 million through a listing on Nasdaw. Mr Bristow said the results reflect a period of rapid growth for the company.

"We are pleased the company surpassed its revenue forecasts for the year," he said. "The results strongly indicate LibertyOne's growth potential, particularly our web integration business."

During 1999, LibertyOne realised a significant profit on its investment in excite@home, which it obtained as part of agreements completed during the establishment of the Excite Asia Pacific joint venture. No dividend was declared.