Annual results of Unipalm

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

UNIPALM, one of the most fashionable of recent new issues, beat its pre-flotation forecast with profits before tax of pounds 272,000 in the year to 30 April, writes Diane Coyle.

The company specialises in software connecting subscribers to Internet - the informal international computer network with 20 million users around the world - and is one of the few companies that gives an electronic mail, as well as a postal, address. Its turnover rose 28 per cent to pounds 10.8m. The number of customers has climbed from 200 on flotation to 250.

Profits fell from pounds 605,000 last year because of higher spending on marketing by Pipex, Unipalm's Internet subsidiary. Pipex made losses of pounds 444,000, offset by profits of pounds 716,000 elsewhere in the group.

Chris Batterham, finance director, said June had been a record month for Unipalm, with pounds 250,000 in new sales. Contracts won recently include creating the network for the BBC Network Club, due to be launched this week for viewers of its series on the Internet. Earnings per share fell from 2.9p to 0.89p. The shares rose 2p to 110p, compared with a placing price of 100p in March.