On Demand suffers heavier losses

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ON Demand Information, floated on the Unlisted Securities Market in December, has reported a pounds 669,000 pre-tax loss in the six months to 31 January, up from pounds 490,000 at the same stage the previous year, writes Diane Coyle.

The maiden losses included restructuring and disposal costs of pounds 434,000 and an exceptional pounds 150,000 paid in settlement of a legal dispute over building work at On Demand's Leeds headquarters.

The on-line information company increased its turnover 32 per cent to pounds 11.8m, but pounds 9.3m of sales were accounted for by its discontinued marketing services business.

Graham Poulter, chairman, said: 'We have spent five years developing the technology, and are now concentrating on databases.' For an annual fee of pounds 2,000- pounds 5,000 customers can transfer information from the company's central computer to their own PCs in a variety of formats, including video. Mr Poulter said the company had identified 100 vertical markets to target.

On Demand recently launched a construction industry service, which it said had 180 subscribers. Last month it bought from Yorkshire Television a health video for GPs. It plans to market health information services to trust hospitals and is developing financial and retail databases. The shares were unchanged at 101p.