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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 18:03 GMT
Blockbuster steps up cost cutting
Blockbuster video store
The end of late fees was a popular move but has hit revenues
Blockbuster has seen its shares rise more than 7% as investors overlooked a fall in turnover and welcomed its continuing cost-cutting measures.

The world's largest video rental chain said turnover had dropped 1.7% to $1.39bn (799m) in the latest quarter from $1.41bn a year earlier.

And it made a net loss before one-off charges of $24.6m compared with a net profit of $5.2m a year previously.

The company has been struggling against a decline in the video rental industry.

It has also been hit by the growth in online video rental companies, which has seen Blockbuster have to spend money launching its own internet service.

Blockbuster also dropped its so-called "late fees" back in January to try to woo back customers, despite this ending a valuable revenue stream.

Reduced spending

Including one-off charges for each period, the company made a loss of $491.4m in the quarter, down from a $1.4bn loss in the same period of 2004.

Blockbuster now intends to cut costs by more than $100m in 2006 and by $50m in 2007 by reducing both overhead and marketing spending, and selling off non-core assets.

It is also restructuring some of its debts.

The video rental chain was spun-out of former parent company Viacom last year.

Blockbuster said subscriber numbers for its internet service remained steady at about one million.


SEE ALSO:
Blockbuster hurt by online rivals
10 Aug 05 |  Business
Blockbuster investors vote on row
12 May 05 |  Business
Blockbuster sticks to hostile bid
06 Mar 05 |  Business
Viacom plans to sell Blockbuster
10 Feb 04 |  Business


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