Pacific Internet posts US$6.8m loss for 2000

Regional Asian ISP (Internet service provider) Pacific Internet Ltd. (PI) posted a US$6.8 million loss for fiscal 2000, reversing a $4.8 million profit for the previous year, the company announced Thursday.

The loss was primarily caused by higher expenses associated with Nasdaq-listed PI's expansion into India and Thailand, and the development of its Pacfusion.com electronic commerce portal, the company said in a statement.

Despite the negative near-term effect on PI's profitability, these initiatives hold the key in driving the company's future growth, PI chairman Ko Kheng Hwa said in the statement.

Revenue for the year increased 27.8 percent to $63.1 million and the number of dial-up subscribers reached 382,000 in PI's six countries of operation -- Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, India and Thailand.

The company is focusing on five core areas: Internet access, data center services, broadband access, e-commerce and international direct dial. PI said it expects to return to profitability within one to two years.

The development of PI's e-commerce business will be helped by the eight percent stake in the business taken last month by Japan's Mitsubishi Corp., offering extra funds for development and using Mitsubishi's experience in fields such as logistics, banking and insurance, PI said.

PI's stock (PCNTF) fell $0.78 to $4.97 on the Nasdaq exchange in trading Thursday, a loss of 13.59 percent on the day. The stock is worth less than one-tenth of its value at its peak of $73 in March 2000.

Pacific Internet, in Singapore, can be contacted at +65-771-0849, or via the Web at http://www.pacific.net.sg

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