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  1. Technology
August 15, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

UK on-line information provider Maid Plc attributes its first half losses to continued investment in the infrastructure of the firm. The London-based company turned in pre-tax losses of 3.3m British pounds compared with profits of 408,000 pounds last time, on revenue that rose by 66% to 9.6m pounds, but the City seemed unperturbed. Shares had rised three pence to 271 pence per share by mid afternoon yesterday and strategy and marrketing director Larry Rees said the company felt very comfortable with its performance. During the period Maid signed up 1,200 new corporate subscriptions, twice as many as those won during the whole of 1995. There are now 22 offices worldwide, from only five at the start of the year. Although all European and the Far East divisions have shown significant growth during the half – Europe increased revenue by 33% to 4.3m pounds, continental Europe by 143% to 942,000 pounds and the rest of the world, excluding the US, by 63% to #942,000, the majority of g rowth derived from the US. Revenue jumped 110% to 2.6m pounds, and seven new offices have opened here during the half, to make 11 in total. The UK is the firm’s first home, said Rees, but we are very keen to exploit the lucrative US market. Maid signed new alliances with CompuServe Inc, IBM Corp, Forte Software Inc and Thorn EMI Plc, and Rees said that the partnership theme would continue for some time. The CompuServe information service has been completed and is ready to be launched, but the company said no revenue from the new deals is included in the figures. Rees is hopefull that the rate of cash investment in infrastructure will reduce and the company will be back in the black by the end of this year. There will be no dividend paid this time around.

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