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Thursday, 21 February, 2002, 14:23 GMT
Chinadotcom narrows losses
Executive chairman Raymond Chi'en
The company is on a "...mission to break even"
Chinadotcom, one of the biggest internet groups in China, has reported a loss of just over $10m in the last three months of 2002.

But the Nasdaq-listed company - which raised more than $1bn from investors in the US - said things were slowly beginning to turn around and there were signs of strong growth in China.

Executive chairman Raymond Chi'en
Chi'en: We're actively looking for new investment opportunities in China
"We're not profitable yet but hope to be in 2002," executive chairman Raymond Chi'en told the BBC's World Business Report.

"Last year we achieved what we call 'cash preservation' which means the company is going to have a future."

Much of chinadotcom's revenue comes from providing consulting and online marketing services to corporate clients.

More acquisitions

The company built itself up through an acquisition spree during the internet boom and then began an to cut back as losses mounted.

Last year, Chinadotcom slashed its workforce by almost half to 1,300 as part of a $50m cost cutting purge.

Now it is on the acquisition trail again.

"China has really become our most important theatre of operation, it accounts for more than 25% of our revenue and it is one area where business has grown," Mr Chi'en said.

"We're actively looking for new investment opportunities in China."

Shares rising

The Hong Kong-based firm said fourth quarter revenue totalled $17.7m, breaking a number of quarters of decline due to the disposal of unprofitable units.

A year earlier, Chinadotcom reported a fourth quarter net loss of $133m on revenue of $34.4m.

Shares rose 6.28% on Nasdaq on Wednesday to close at US$3.22.

They have been rising steadily since hitting a low of $1.80 in September 2001, but are still well off their $78 peak reached in March 2000.

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Executive chairman Raymond Chi'en
"We're not profitable yet but hope to be in 2002."
See also:

11 Feb 02 | Sci/Tech
China net use soars
25 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
China website giants fight it out
21 Nov 01 | Asia-Pacific
China cracks down on cybercafes
18 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
BBC News Online blocked at Apec
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