Ansearch turns the corner

Online group Ansearch has hauled itself back to profitability even though its revenue is down on a year before, the company told the Australian Stock Exchange today.  

The group’s unaudited accounts say that it made a net loss of $1.6m in the second half of 2008, but it adds that the company was back in profit for December and January.

 The news comes almost exactly a year after David Burden was appointed CEO with a brief to turn the company around. He was the founder of interactive phone services company Legion Interactive, which he eventually sold to Photon.

Ansearch has three major divisions covering search, web build and media. In the ASX update, the company said:

“January has exceeded budget expectations and revenue is marginally higher than December. Despite the global financial crises and a slower than expected first quarter, the company remains within 8% of its revenue budget for the year to January 2009. Ordinarily over the summer months the Company sees a seasonal reduction in sales, however the Webfirm division held up strongly in line with budget and Searchworld exceeded its targets, more than offsetting a shortfall experienced by the Media division.

One of the factors driving the company’s upturn is the success of its Webfirm offering, which allows small businesses to build cheap web sites virtually off the shelf. After being founded in Perth, last year saw a successful transfer of the concept to Melbourne.

Burden told Mumbrella: “Webfirm is going very well indeed. We are very pleased.”

The market update said that revenues were down by 26% in the second half of last year compared to the same period in 2007. It said that this was as a result of a decision to “terminate the contracts of several customers in the Searchworld division whose activities were putting the Company’s supply agreements at risk”.

Burden told Mumbrella that this related to low quality search traffic which was not converting for advertisers and that it was a decision which had been taken prior to his arrival.

The company predicted further improvements in profit and revenue over the next two quarters.


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