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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 22:46 GMT 23:46 UK
Double whammy for dot.coms
Job cuts at internet content and service provider ExciteAtHome, and a profits slump at the firm which owns Altavista search engine, have refocused attention on the problems beseting the dot.com sector.

ExciteAtHome revealed it was cutting 500 staff, equivalent to one quarter of its workforce, in an effort to conserve cash and buy extra time for securing a rescue package.

And Altavista owner CMGI posted a net loss of $1.27bn for the May-to-July quarter, compared with $633.7m loss a year before.

The announcements, which came a day after media giant AOL Time Warner warned on profits, acted as a reminder of the troubles facing dot.com firms.

Restructuring

Revenues at CMGI, which is suffering from the widespread slump in advertising spending, fell by almost one third to $255.5m.

But chief executive David Wetherell said an ongoing and "aggressive" restructuring was allowing the firm to make "measurable improvements in performance".

"Our increased focus on realizing efficiencies through consolidation and improvement of operating processes should continue to bear fruit in the coming quarters as we move closer to our goal of profitability," Mr Wetherell added.

CMGI also on Tuesday announced the $4m sale of internet broadcasting business Activate.com to Loudeye Technologies.

Search for cash

Broadband specialist ExciteAtHome, which has debts of nearly $1bn, said its job cuts would help win time to raise more cash.

The job cuts will fall mainly in the media division, which the company has long sought to dispose of in a focus on internet units.

The firm, which is controlled by telecoms giant, will also axe some shopping and gaming features from the Excite.com site.

"I do not think it is going to make a big difference to the majority of people who use Excite," a spokeswoman said.

See also:

25 Sep 01 | Business
AOL cuts targets after attack
30 Aug 01 | Business
Dot.com crash squeezes top insurer
02 Aug 01 | Business
Dot.com failures slow
06 Jun 01 | Business
Excite@Home retreats in Europe
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