ots Ad hoc-Service: WEB.DE AG WEB.DE set on growth path in the 2000 financial year

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    Karlsruhe (ots Ad hoc-Service) -      

    -Sales: growth by EUR 8.4 million to EUR 11.9 million -

    Net loss for the year: EUR 28.5 million -Strongest user growth amongst all competitors on the German portal market -Registered users: growth by EUR 2.7 million to EUR 3 million -EUR 168.4 million still available from issuing proceeds after extensive funding of growth

    WEB.DE AG hereby announces a preliminary indication of the corporate group's results for the 2000 financial year. WEB.DE AG emphasizes that these results are only initial results on the basis of current information. Deviations may arise between these figures and the audited figures, which are to be published on March 15, 2001.

    WEB.DE AG, has increased its sales from EUR 3.5 million in 1999 to EUR 11.9 million in 2000. The sales development thus exceeded the expectations issued at the IPO in February 2000.

    The expansion strategy announced at the IPO has been consistently implemented. The marketing investments made to boost the growth of coverage and user base (EUR 26.9 million) are the main reasons for the net loss of EUR 28.5 million for the entire 2000 financial year. Expenditure for research and development amounted to EUR 10.6 million in the year under review.

    The number of corporate employees was increased from 45 at the end of 1999 to 355 as at 31 December 2000, not least due to acquisitions. Human resources, especially in Research & Development, were expanded at a much higher rate in the 2000 financial year compared to predictions issued on going public in February 2000. This sound basis should pathe the way into a very successful future.

    1.5 million registered users were predicted for the end of the year on going public. However, expectations were again outstripped with 3 million registered users as at 31 December 2000. At present, WEB.DE is growing at a rate of over 400,000 registered users a month. According to MMXI Europe, WEB.DE was able to increase its coverage of @home users from 7.9% to 25.3% over the past 12 months, thus becoming the German Internet portal with the fastest growth. Where usage intensity and stickiness are concerned, WEB.DE was able to take the lead in the German portal market in 2000 ahead of its competitors.

    Influenced by the weak German online advertising market, sales for Q4 2000 amounted to EUR 3 million, reflecting the level of Q3 2000 but up by EUR 1.7 million as against sales for Q4 1999. Due to the muted sentiment on the online advertising market, WEB.DE AG expects a contained sales development in the first two quarters of 2001. With its immense range of performance- linked types of advertising, such as pay-per-click, and the restructuring in distribution, the company adjusted early on to the changes in the online advertising environment.

    Despite the temporary weakness of the market, WEB.DE AG will continue to pursue its long-term growth strategy in 2001 as well. Of the EUR 183.6 million in issuing proceeds, the company still disposes of EUR 168.4 million as at 31 December 2000 which corresponds to a liquidity of EUR 4.41 per share.


    WEB.DE AG, Richard Berg, Investor Relations, phone ++49 (0)721 943 29 0, fax ++49 (0)721 943 29 22, e-mail: investor.relations@webde-ag.de, http://webde-ag.de

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