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May 5, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Electronic publishing company On Demand Information Plc has reported its first interim results since its flotation on the Unlisted Securities Market in December 1993, which raised over ?9m. The company made a pre-tax loss of ?700,000 for the six months ended January 31, after pouring money into product development. Gross profit was ?1.8m, on turnover of ?2.6m. The poorer-than-last-year’s figures reflect the fact that On Demand was spun off from marketing company Poulter Communications Plc at the time of flotation; a management buy-out of the marketing communications business is on the cards. Chairman Graham Poulter said he wasn’t forecasting a turnaround in the second half of the year, but that the company was expecting to show a return in its second year. The main objective was to get the company’s electronic services for various vertical markets up and running before competitors jumped into the business, he said. The company recently recruited Kevin Walsh, the former managing director of Electrolux Domestic Appliances, as managing director of a new subsidiary focussing on the retail sector; Poulter said this appointment had generated considerable interest from electrical retail organisations interested in providing interactive product information. The construction multimedia system is already up and running, he said. The financial sector is probably the biggest opportunity, according to Poulter: he says that the company is currently in the process of putting thousands of annual reports from listed companies on the system.

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