Infobank to shed 40% of staff in new cost-cutting

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The Independent Online

Infobank, which sells software to enable companies to trade on the internet, is laying off 40 per cent of its staff in further cost-cutting.

This will mean the loss of 115 jobs but should leave the business with enough cash to take it to profitability, the company said yesterday. Infobank will also "significantly" reduce its annual spending "to align it more closely with revenue over the next 12 months". Its shares closed up 0.5p at 57p. At the height of the internet bubble, its shares rose to more than £40.

David Pollock, Infobank's finance director, said: "We've restructured our business so that even on the most pessimistic of assumptions, we've got enough cash to last for ... two years."

Infobank, which is being renamed Izodia, is also scaling back its Nordic operations, which will include closing two offices. The moves, combined with previous cost-cutting, will reduce Infobank's annualised operating costs by more than £15m since the start of the year, to levels close to £35m a year. It is thought to have about £65m cash remaining.

Analysts forecast that the business will generate sales of £10m-£12m this year and do not expect it to be profitable until late 2002 to early 2003.

The restructuring followed the appointment of Tony Stepanski as chief executive in March. He has been focussing on cost reduction and product development while driving sales.

Infobank said yesterday it had won two new customers for its core InTrade product, worth more than a combined £1m.