El Sitio Posts Higher Revenue, Losses in Q1

LOS ANGELES (05/02/2000) - El Sitio Inc., a high-profile Latin America-oriented Web portal, reported a rise in revenue and an increase in losses during the first fiscal quarter, compared to a year ago.

El Sitio reported revenue of US$5.6 million for the first quarter, which ended March 31, compared to $276,000 for the same period a year ago, the company said in a statement issued today.

Net losses for the first quarter totaled $20.4 million, or 51 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $1.5 million, or 15 cents per share year-on-year.

Analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial had predicted a loss of 54 cents per share.

The company added 251,000 registered users for the first quarter, for a total of 936,000 and up 48 percent from year-end 1999. Page views in the first quarter were 417.9 million, up 55 percent compared to the last quarter. Average monthly unique users totaled 3.81 million, a hike of 39 percent compared to 2.75 million in the fourth quarter of last year, the company said. Both unique users and page viewers were audited by Engage I/Pro, according to the company's statement.

New users, the launch of versions of the portal for Chile and Colombia, and the acquisition of Mexican online retailer DeCompras.com all helped the company grow its revenue in the quarter, said Roby Cibrian-Campoy, El Sitio's chief executive officer (CEO), in the statement. During the quarter, El Sitio also established a commerce and content alliance with Compaq Computer Corp.'s Latin America unit and with Hollywood.com, said the statement. No explanation was given for the company's losses.

The company also reported first quarter advertising revenue of $2.9 million compared to $276,000 a year ago and $2.7 million in the fourth quarter last year. Internet connectivity revenue totaled $2.8 million, slightly over the $2.7 million reported for the fourth quarter of 1999.

El Sitio went public in December 1999 and, since its foundation in 1997, has opened seven offices throughout Latin America with a total of 425 employees, the company said.

El Sitio, based in Argentina, can be reached at http://www.elsitio.com/.

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