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Rediff.com posts positive Q3 operating EBITDA

January 16, 2004 20:08 IST

Rediff.com India Limited (NASDAQ: REDF), one of the premier worldwide online providers of news, information, communication, entertainment and shopping services for Indians, today announced its financial results for the fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2003.

Highlights

  • The company reports for the first time a positive operating EBITDA of US$55,000 or 0.2 cents per ADS for the quarter ended December 31, 2003 as compared to an operating EBITDA loss of US$2.2 million or 8.7 cents per ADS for the corresponding quarter a year ago.
  • Net Loss for the quarter was 0.6 cents per ADS or US$0.16 million compared to 10.2 cents or US$2.6 million for the corresponding quarter ended December 2002.
  • Total revenues for the quarter ended December 31, 2003 were US$3.6 million compared to US$3.3 million for the corresponding quarter a year ago.
  • India Online contributed US$1 million, an increase of 54% when compared to the same quarter last year on the strength of growth in online advertising and fee-based services.
  • Gross Margin for the quarter was US$1.6 million or 44% compared to US$0.9 million or 28% in the same quarter last year.
  • Operating Expenses were lower by 52% to US$1.5 million compared to US$3.2 million for the corresponding quarter last year.
  • Registered users grew by 26% compared to the same quarter last year to 29 million.

"We are pleased to announce that Rediff.com is reporting for the first time a positive operating EBITDA in the third quarter driven by growth in Indian online revenues, increase in company wide gross margins and lower operating expenses," says Ajit Balakrishnan, Chairman and CEO, Rediff.com India Limited.

"We continue to strive towards achieving greater operational excellence through product and process innovations across each of our business segments. We are now focused in further growing our business with the same dedication that has driven us to achieve this success," concluded Ajit Balakrishnan.

Financial Results

Revenues

Revenues for the quarter ended December 31, 2003 were US$3.6 million, as compared to US$3.3 million in the same quarter last year.

India Online contributed US$1 million, an increase of 54% when compared to the same quarter last year on the strength of growth in online advertising and fee-based services. Fee based services comprise mobile services, subscription services and merchandising.

Revenues for US Publishing for the quarter ended December 31, 2003, grew by 6% to US$1.5 million, compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2002. US Publishing comprised of India Abroad, a weekly news publication and Rediff USA online, are leading and credible news providers to the Indian American community.

Revenues from the phone card business were US$1.1 million compared to US$1.2 million for the same quarter last year. Lower revenues were primarily due to reduced rates per minute from US to India calls.

Two important factors contributing to our improved profitability are better gross margins and continued success in reducing operating expenses.

Gross Margin

Gross Margin for the quarter was US$1.6 million (44%) compared to US$0.9 million (28%) in the same quarter last year.

India online gross margin increased significantly to 75% as compared to 55% during the corresponding quarter last year.

US Publishing recorded higher gross margins of 42% up from 23% over the same period.

Gross Margins for our phone cards business decreased from 20% to 18% as compared to the corresponding 2002 quarter.

Operating Expenses

Total operating expenses decreased by US$1.6 million or 52% for the quarter to US$1.5 million, compared to US$3.2 million for the same quarter last year.

The Company realized these savings due to reduction in advertising and sales promotion of US$0.6 million and other expenses amounting to US$0.5 million and write-back of liabilities no longer required amounting to US$0.4 million.

Operating EBITDA

Operating EBIDTA for the quarter was 0.2 cents per ADS or US$55,000 compared to a loss of 8.7 cents or US$2.2 million for the corresponding quarter of 2002.

Net Income (Loss)

Net loss for the quarter was 0.6 cents per ADS or US$0.2 million compared to 10.2 cents or US$2.6 million for the same quarter last year.

Total cash and cash equivalents and short-term deposits with banks approximated US$11.2 million at the end of December 31, 2003.

About Rediff.com

Rediff.com India Limited (NASDAQ: REDF) is one of the premier worldwide online providers of news, information, communication, entertainment and shopping services for Indians.

Known for being one of the first with news and providing accurate and trustworthy information, Rediff.com provides an ideal platform for Indians worldwide to connect with one another online fast. Rediff.com is committed to offering a personalized and a secure surfing and shopping environment.

Rediff.com additionally offers the Indian American community in the United States and Canada one of the oldest and largest Indian weekly newspapers, India Abroad.

Founded in 1996, Rediff.com is headquartered in Mumbai, India with offices in New Delhi and New York, USA.
Safe Harbor

Except for historical information and discussions contained herein, statements included in this release may constitute "forward-looking statements."

These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those that may be projected by these forward looking statements.

These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to the slowdown in the economies worldwide and in the sectors in which our clients are based, the slowdown in the internet and IT sectors world-wide, competition, success of our past and future acquisitions, attracting, recruiting and retaining highly skilled employees, technology, legal and regulatory policies, managing risks associated with customer products, the wide spread acceptance of the internet as well as other risks detailed in the reports filed by Rediff.com India Limited with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rediff.com India Limited and its subsidiaries may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward looking statements, including statements contained in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. Rediff.com India Limited does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of the company.

To view the detailed results table, copy-paste the link below in your browser window: http://www.businesswireindia.com/attachments/Rediff_ResultsTable_QuaterEnded_Dec03.doc

Business Wire India
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