Profit Down, Revenue Up at infoUSA

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First-quarter profit for database marketing services provider infoUSA fell 36 percent to $4.37 million versus $6.85 million in the 2003 first quarter, while net sales rose to $80.8 million from $76.1 million last year, according to the company's earnings report released Wednesday.

The Omaha, NE, firm reported operating income of $9.2 million, down from $14.3 million for the first quarter of the prior year.

InfoUSA's Donnelley Group, which includes Donnelley Marketing and Walter Karl, reported first-quarter 2004 revenue of $40.8 million, up from $36.3 million in the comparable quarter last year. InfoUSA said this revenue growth stemmed from the addition of new products and services as well as the acquisition of new businesses. The division acquired data processing firm Triplex Direct Marketing Corp. in February for $7.6 million.

The infoUSA Group, which offers directory products, vertical industry databases, online mailing lists, marketing leads and retail consumer products, reported 2004 first-quarter revenue of $40 million, up from $39.8 million last year. The group would have shown a 5 percent increase if not for its Polk City Directories, which are being revamped, according to infoUSA. It expects better results from Polk starting in the third quarter.

"During the first quarter of 2004 we achieved record revenues of $80.8 million due to higher revenue growth from both Donnelley Group and infoUSA Group," Vin Gupta, infoUSA chairman/CEO, said in a statement. "As previously announced, over the past nine months we have been steadily investing in advertising and marketing in order to stimulate our revenue growth. Consequently, our EBITDA and profitability have been negatively impacted."

Gupta said that infoUSA would cut advertising and sales expenses by about $1.2 million per month.

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