Earnings: Lycos Problems Persist; Can Disposals Set Things Straight?

In yet another brutally embarrassing earnings report, one-time super portal Lycos Europe’s annual 2007 losses quadrupled from 4.6 million euros (£3.4 million) to 18.2 million euros (£13.7 million) on an EBITDA basis. Revenue fell seven percent, too, from 82.4 million euros (£62.1 million) to 76.7 million euros (£57.8 million). Q4 revenue was down even more, by 22 percent to 18.3 million euros (£13.79 million).

Holland-based Lycos has proved itself unable to keep pace with its former portal rivals in recent years and unable to make much even from the current online ad boom. Bluntly, the main reason for the losses – “the negative advertising revenue development of (our) own products“. Stating the obvious: “This is not in conjunction with the overall market development.”

The site (32.1 percent owned by Telefonica (NYSE: TEF), 20 percent by Bertelsmann) has been racing to offload investments – including its shares in number-two Czech portal Seznam (64.8 million euros) and Tom