AOL has nearly tripled its profitability in a year, despite losing ground to free internet access providers in Europe.
The ISP reported net profit of $156m, or $0.13 per share, for the fourth quarter ended 30 June, up from $58m for the same quarter last year. Revenue rose to $1.4bn, an increase of 46 per cent from last year. Advertising, ecommerce and revenue other than subscriptions reached $306m, up 87 per cent over 1998's fourth quarter.
Profit for the year increased to $396m, or $0.34 cents per share, and revenue of $4.8bn. This was compared with the previous year's profit of $59m, or $0.06 per share, and revenue of $3.1bn.
The AOL online service netted 755,000 additional subscribers during the fourth quarter and more than five million during the financial year as a whole.
At the end of the quarter, AOL totalled 17.6 million members while Compuserve reached the two million mark. However, the total number of subscribers outside the US has remained static, hovering around three million.
AOL had resisted the move to a free service until last week when it announced Netscape Online. The free service is in addition to its existing subscriber service, which brought in $943 million worldwide last quarter.
The ISP is continuing with its multiple brand strategy. As of 30 June, the vendor had 38 million users of ICQ instant chat, 25 million of AOL Instant Messenger and a total of 17 million for Netscape Netcenter.
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany