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ots Ad hoc-Service: AG reports record figures

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    Kiel (ots Ad hoc-Service) -         Consolidated sales for the first half of 2000 rise by 192 percent, with betting stakes up by 234 percent -- Market lead for online lottery and betting in Germany strengthened -- Much lower loss for the quarter, EBIT margin improves from -90 to -61 percent -- Web agency sector breaks even AG (Reuters: FXXG.F), an Internet service company and Germany's leading provider of Internet gambling services, today announced the best first- half result in the company's history.

    The figures showed that consolidated sales for the first half were up 192 percent on the prior-year period, to DM 14.807 million (EUR 7.571 million). Gambling stakes handled by the company's own e-commerce sites rose by an even sharper 234 percent, to a new record high of DM 9.679 million (EUR 4.949 million). This result emphatically underlines's market lead in the online lottery and betting sector in Germany.

    Thanks to the high level of orders and its concentration on online expertise in the e-business services division, the Web agency e-production GmbH was able to report a profit for the very first time in June. The consolidated loss before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the second quarter was DM 3.678 million (EUR 1.881 million), a significant improvement on the loss for the first quarter of 2000. The EBIT margin has accordingly improved significantly from -90 percent to -61 percent.

    The consolidated net loss according to IAS at the end of the first half therefore rose less sharply than originally anticipated, to DM -4.493 million (EUR -2.297 million), as against DM -2.079 million (EUR -1.063 million) for the corresponding prior-year period. The loss was attributable in the main to measures designed for acquiring and retaining new customers for the company's own online services and, and to technical development work and preparatory sales measures for the scheduled licensing of the trading platform.

    As a result of the loss and further outflows of funds for the acquisition of in the first quarter, liquid funds fell from DM 20.717 (EUR 10.592 million) to DM 14.856 million (EUR 7.596 million).

    The total number of employees rose by roughly the same rate as in the first quarter. On June 30, 2000 the Group employed a total of 169 persons - 14 more than at the end of March.

    Growth in the customer total in the gambling division likewise reached a new record level, helping to assert its market lead in this area.Compared with the half-way mark in 1999, on June 30, 2000 had a total of 133,000 registered punters - an increase of 90,000 customers, or around 210 percent. With an average growth rate of 30 percent per quarter, as matters stand the company is on course to exceed its target of 200,000 customers by the end of the year.

    In addition to its cooperation with NordwestLotto Schleswig-Holstein, the first partnership of this kind in Germany, is aiming to forge partnerships with further German lottery corporations. On the basis of the current state of negotiations, expects to conclude a further agreement with a state lottery corporation before the end of this year.

    As part of its international strategy, the company is planning to license the present platform through partnerships and joint ventures. In this way, will be pursuing its goal of marketing its own platforms and the associated expertise worldwide in the form of standard software. In the business-to-business segment, these activities will be flanked by the development of the platform, which is to serve as the basis for international business-to-consumer trade.

    The business-to-business arm of AG, e-business services, likewise made very good progress in the second quarter. By concentrating on online expertise, it is the aim to render individual sectors even more efficient and to exploit synergy benefits more intensively. The Board of Management expects to see the entire e-business services division break even by the end of this year.

    The full report on the second quarter of 2000 will be published today on the Internet addresses, and

    Contact: AG, Investor Relations, Stefan Zenker, tel.: +49.40.85 37 88 47,

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