T-Online's goals now extend to develop online
services as a medium for communication, service, trade, information and entertainment; to provide or to market such services as well as products related to them; and to generate and market not just online/Internet but also other media content. T-Online may do so either in its own or under another name; the company can now also acquire equity interests in other companies in Germany
or abroad that further T-Online's objectives.
"Our numbers show that we are on the right track," said T-Online International CEO Thomas Holtrop at the company's second annual Shareholders' Meeting. In addition to heading for the EBITDA
break-even point for the group later in 2002 - a year earlier than anticipated - T-Online leads the way in creating tomorrow's multimedia world of interactivity and convergence, a task made easier by the increased scope of T-Online's objectives.
T-Online can once more point to impressive growth rates on multiple levels. Revenues for the group reached EUR 1.1 billion in 2001, up from EUR 797 million a year earlier. Of that total, EUR 193 million came from non-access revenues, an increase of almost 50 percent compared to 2000. Customer numbers across Europe rose from 7.9 million at the end of 2000 to approximately 11.2 million subscribers at the end of the first quarter 2002.
customers in particular are flocking to T-Online: While 960,000 people used the DSL
flat rate at the end of last year, 1.22 million did so at the end of the first quarter 2002. High speed access
is becoming increasingly important as T-Online continues its path from pure portal to full-fledged programming network. The company already has agreements with such content providers as ZDF-TV
's news division, popular tabloid newspaper Bild and car experts Motorpresse Stuttgart. With broadband, says Holtrop, TV-quality video and audio offerings are becoming ever more crucial: With attractive multimedia content, users are more likely to pay for value-added premium services, especially in the T-Online Vision portal; and advertisers can take advantage of having moving TV-quality spots while still reaching specific target audiences. This in turn strengthens the role of e-commerce in Germany.
Already the dominant player on Germany's Internet scene, T-Online is also consolidating its position across Europe. Synergies are spreading innovation and cutting costs: e.g., all partners will soon have a common T-Online search engine and the instant messaging system TOM (T-Online Messenger). Additionally, subsidiaries in Spain and France are following the broadband strategy; whereas ya.com already offers a specific broadband portal, Club Internet
will introduce a similar product this summer, opening up additional revenue streams.
Expansion is also hitting close to home with convergence between the worlds of online and mobile communication becoming more important; once more synergies are important, this time with Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile International division. Holtrop defines this multi-access approach: "We deliver the content you want and deliver it to you regardless of network, location or the device you use to access the content."
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