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TOM's Internet Profit Grows In China

Hong Kong's TOM Group Limited, an amalgamation of various online and offline media entities, announced its interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2008.

While the entire company's revenues were HKD1.332 billion, TOM's Internet Group reported revenues of HKD502 million. Operating loss for the entire company after one-off and non-cash items was HKD516 million, and loss attributable to shareholders was HKD547 million

TOM's Internet Group says increased operation efficiency as a result of business optimization drove segment profit up by 106.3% to HKD21 million. Excluding the impact from the privatization costs recognized in first half 2007 and the increased net exchange losses recognized during the current year, the segment profit grew by 55% to HKD51 million.

In early 2008, TOM re-launched its portal site as a tool and user-centric widgetized open platform. The company now says traffic has increased by over 300% while certain
operating costs have been reduced by over 50%. TOM-Skype registered users were 69 million, up from 63 million early this year. Value added services would be launched by the company in the near future to leverage on the user base.

The share of losses of the online auction website TOM Eachnet was reduced by 18.9% to HKD44 million in the first half of 2008. This was mainly attributable to continuous optimization on operations and effective cost control.

Ken Yeung, CEO of the company, ominously stated, "The overall global economy was overshadowed by uncertainties in the first half of 2008. In the Mainland, amid the successive outbreak of natural disasters and regulatory measure on selective industries, corporations were inevitably facing a more challenging operating environment. Nevertheless, the group remained focus on optimising the platform infrastructure to enhance operational efficiency while making strategic investments and launching innovative products and services. All these efforts have contributed to the steady business performance during the reporting period.

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