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blinkx turns its first profit

blinkx turned its first profit in the six months to September, more than three years after the online video company went public.

Revenues doubled to $27.4m (£17m), with a pre-tax profit of $2m – twice what analysts had forecast – compared with losses of $7.3m in the same period last year.

 

“It feels like a significant point in time,” said Suranga Chandratillake, chief executive.

Shares in the group, which have risen by more than 400 per cent this year, closed 2½p lower on Tuesday at 86½p.

blinkx provides online video search tools, indexing 35m hours of content via 720 partnerships with media firms such as the BBC and Bloomberg. It sells advertising alongside the videos, using speech recognition and other tools to match the ads to the content. More than 31m searches are performed on the site every day.

Because blinkx’s operating costs are growing at a much slower rate than revenues, Mr Chandratillake expects steady profits in future. “It was painful for a while getting to that level,” he said. “Now we have broken through into profit, it should scale very nicely.”

Advertisers in the period included several automotive groups – such as Mercedes, BMW and Saab – McDonalds, and Microsoft, which also includes blinkx technology in its Internet Explorer web browser.

The size of an average campaign booking grew by 40 per cent over the past six months, Mr Chandratillake said.

After generating $2.3m in cash over the period and raising about $31m in a placing last month, blinkx is holding about $46m in cash. “The balance sheet is stronger than it’s ever been before,” he said. “It’s not defined around any particular target or area of investment ... Talking about small internet companies [acquisitions], you have to move fast so [you] need cash on hand to be able to do it.”

blinkx also announced a partnership with Amino, which makes internet-connected TV equipment, to improve the search, personalisation and recommendation features of its “Freedom” set-top boxes.