Voice and data integration services firm Commander Communications has posted $9.98 million pro-forma earnings for the first half of the 2001 financial year, despite feeling the effects of the economic slowdown.
The earnings exceed the company's budget by 14 per cent. Revenue was $95.34 million, $1.24 million ahead of budget, and gross margins also blitzed predictions due to successful supplier pricing negotiations, lower service costs and tight cost control.
Commander's managing director, John Dougall, says the bulk of profits are still generated through its handset and PABX installations. Due to the optimistic results, the company gained a further $50 million funding from Citibank to drive the company's Web-hosting initiative.
Commander entered into a multi-year wholesale agreement with Web Central some months ago to provide Web-hosting services to its 125,000 existing and potential customers.
"We plan to spend approximately $2 million in the second half of this year on new business development and the launch of the Web-hosting services," says Dougall.
The recently acquired data networking activities came in slightly below budget due to increased competitive pressures and some level of economic uncertainty. However, Dougall is confident this sector will pull up to play an important role in future growth.
Commander has also launched a bundled offering with Telstra that provides customers with access to Telstra network services and Commander products at a reduced rate.
Meanwhile David Kerr, formerly of Telstra Big Pond, has been appointed general manager of the new Web-hosting arm. Non-executive director Gary Cohen has resigned from the board due to other commitments.