(Alliance News) - ADVFN PLC on Wednesday reported interim earnings below expectations due to lower advertising demand and higher overheads, as large stakeholder Online Blockchain PLC reported an improved performance.
For the six-month period to the end of 2019, the private investor website operator recorded revenue of GBP3.7 million, down 14% from GBP4.3 million reported for the comparative period the year prior. Pretax loss widened year-on-year to GBP402,000 from GBP214,000.
The widened loss was attributed to lower revenue resulting from reduced advertising demand, as well as increased overheads borne from the company's efforts to grow sales in the autumn of 2019.
Cash at the end of the period decreased to GBP557,000. No dividend was declared.
Looking ahead, ADVFN said it believes the reduction of its cost base carried out in December and January, as well as profitable trading in February places it in a good position to ride out any disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
"The board believes it has reduced its cost base sufficiently to ride out the current business environment and we are beginning to see the return of advertising revenues. We are also experiencing a growth in subscriptions levels which, if sustained, will over time make up for suppressed advertising levels, said Chief Executive Clem Chambers.
"The directors believe this has now stabilised and we look to benefit from the reductions made to the cost base, reflected in an improvement in performance in the second half, to restore our usual cash levels in the near future," he added.
Separately, cryptocurrency developer Online Blockchain reported higher first half revenue at GBP44,000 from GBP26,000. Pretax loss for the six months to December end stood at GBP144,00, narrowed from GBP276,000.
Online Blockchain noted the performance of ADVFN. ADVFN is Online Blockchain's largest asset and as at November, it held an 18% stake.
Addressing its ability to maintain liquidity amid the Covid-19 outbreak, it said it has access to an overdraft facility of GBP50,000 and the option to raise additional funds or to sell shares in ADVFN.
Shares in ADVFN closed untraded on Wednesday in London, last quoted at 12.00 pence each. Online Blockchain shares closed 10% lower at 9.00 pence each.
By Ife Taiwo; firstname.lastname@example.org
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