euro adhoc: WEB.DE AG / Quarterly or Semiannual Financial Statements / Ad hoc disclosure in accordance with §15 WpHG: WEB.DE grows strongly during the summer quarter and increases EBIT in the Portal business in Q1-Q3/2004 to 4.6 million Euro (EBIT margin 15%) (E)

Disclosure announcement transmitted by euro adhoc. The issuer is responsible for the content of this announcement.

WEB.DE AG reports a very positive business development for the first nine months of fiscal 2004 (Q1-Q3/2004). During the reporting period WEB.DE AG raised revenues within the Group by 7.4 million EUR or 31% to 30.9 million Euro (Q1-Q3/2003: 23.5 million Euro) with positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 3.0 million Euro.

WEB.DE Group continues to focus on two segments: the WEB.DE Portal and Web Telecommunications. In the Portal business WEB.DE generated in Q3/2004 revenues of 3.0 million Euro in the Media Sales business line. With a plus of 0.4 million Euro or +13% in revenues, they significantly exceed the prior year quarter (Q3/2003: 2.6 million Euro). During the 9-months reporting period this business line generated 8.5 million Euro in revenues versus Euro 7.9 million Euro in Q1-Q3/2003 (+0.6 million Euro or +8%). Overall, despite the ongoing difficult situation on the online advertising market Media Sales recorded respectable growth against the market trend. With revenues of 1.2 million Euro in Q3/2004 or 3.7 million Euro during the 9-month reporting period, the E-Commerce business line developed as expected (Q3/2003: 1.8 million Euro; Q1-Q3/2003: 5 million Euro). During the reporting period, the growth drivers of WEB.DE AG continued to be the Digital Paid Services with their particularly high margins. In Q3/2004 this business line generated revenues of 6.5 million Euro versus 3.5 million Euro in Q3/2003 (+84% y-o-y). During the first nine months, revenues from Digital Paid Services reached 18.2 million Euro and were thus 8.6 million Euro or 89% above the comparative, prior year period. The flagship of Digital Services is the WEB.DE Club, which counted 322,000 subscription-paying members on the quarterly reporting date September 30, 2004 (52 Euro net p.a.) – a plus of 187,000 compared to September 30, 2003 and 47,000 new members during the summer quarter 2004 alone.

In its highly profitable Portal business, WEB.DE reached an EBITDA of 3.2 million Euro in Q3/2004 (EBITDA margin of 30%) and even earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 1.7 million Euro (EBIT margin of 16%). Referred to the 9-month reporting period, the Portal EBIT reached 4.6 million Euro; Portal and EBITDA reached 9.5 million Euro. In Web Telecommunications the company generated a R&D investment driven EBITDA of –6.5 million Euro during the first nine months of fiscal 2004.

Group net income was influenced by a non cash effective, one-off valuation allowance on a minority stake in VoIPGroup Inc., Miami (USA) of 3.9 million Euro from year 2000. Hence, net income for the 9-month period under review is now –3.3 million Euro. The investment, which was fully written down, is outside the strategic focus of WEB.DE as a comprehensive know how transfer to WEB.DE has taken place and the company has developed into different strategic directions. Additionally WEB.DE AG launched its own VoIP solution with FreePhone® during the previous quarter. After adjustment for this one-off effect, net income rose in the seasonally weak summer quarter Q3/2004 to 0.3 million Euro which is 0.2 million Euro or 200% above Q3/2003.

A clearly positive operating cash flow (Q1-Q3/2004: 8.6 million Euro versus 5.2 million Euro in Q1-Q3/2003) had a sustainably positive effect on cash and cash equivalents of WEB.DE Group. As of September 30, 2004 liquid funds increased to around 102.7 million Euro or Euro 2.69 per share - WEB.DE continues to enjoy an extremely sound financial basis.

For the current fiscal year 2004 the Executive Board of WEB.DE AG expects a growth in revenues of 35-40% with positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and a positive net income for the period before extraordinary investment income of Q3/2004.

Overall, the Executive Board assumes that the positive development of the profitably growing Portal business will persist. Due to the slowly developing environmental conditions for integrated communication products WEB.DE expects the international rollout of Com.Win in the course of fiscal 2005. The existing R&D capacities continue to ensure steady product upgrading and create optimum conditions for further innovation and the international product rollout at current R&D investment levels.

Appendix: Key indicators (in million Euro)

Q1-Q3/04 Q1-Q3/03 Q3/04 Q3/03 Revenues 30,9 23,5 10,8 8,3 including Portal 30,3 10,6 n.a. n.a. including Web Telecomm. 0,6 n.a. 0,2 n.a. Gross profit 23,2 17,7 8,1 6,2 Research and development (13,9) (9,8) (4,8) (3,5) EBIT (2,4) (2,3) (0,8) (0,9) including Portal 4,6 n.a. 1,7 n.a. including Web Telecomm. (6,9) n.a. (2,4) n.a. Net income for the period (3,3) 0,6 (3,6) 0,1 EBITDA 3,0 2,8 0,9 0,8 including Portal 9,5 n.a. 3,2 n.a. including Web Telecomm. (6,5) n.a. (2,3) n.a. Operating cash flow 8,6 5,2 2,4 1,8 Liquid funds 102,7 100,5 102,7 100,5

Download information:
The full quarterly report can be downloaded from the WEB.DE AG homepage at

Further inquiry note:
Richard Berg
Tel. +49(0)721 94329 2700

end of announcement euro adhoc

emitter: WEB.DE AG
Amalienbadstraße 41
D-76227 Karlsruhe
phone: +49(0)721 943 290
FAX: +49(0)721 943 2922
ISIN: DE0005296503
sector: Software
language: English