Three more tech companies beating the downturn gloom

Information technology and internet companies continue to display resilience in the face of the looming recession, with REA Group (owner of, iiNet and Melbourne-based digital media company Jumbuck Entertainment posting strong first half results.

REA posted a 47.4% rise in net profit to $11.4 million for the six months to 30 December. After a tumultuous 2008 in which the company sacked chief executive Simon Baker, REA managed to lift revenue in its Australian business by 33% to $73.3 million despite the weakening property market.

While the company has warned market conditions are uncertain, it has acted early by reviewing its portfolio of businesses, closing its New Zealand office and selling a number of other small divisions.

Perth-based internet service provider iiNet increased net profit from $7.6 million to $11.4 million in the first half, with revenue up 75% to $205 million.

While the company was boosted by the acquisition of fellow Perth ISP Westnet, managing director Michael Malone says the company’s Naked DSL broadband product – which allows users to buy an internet connection without buying a fixed-line phone – is the key to the company’s growth.

Malone remains confident iiNet can hit its target of $400 million in revenue for the full 2008-09 year.

Digital media company Jumbuck Entertainment – which bought popular Australian auction site OZtion in June 2008 and sells digital downloads primarily into the US and British markets – has posted a 14.2% increase in net profit for the first half to $2.4 million. The company’s revenue increased 33% to $9.9 million.

Despite the weak economic conditions in the US and Britain, Jumbuck remains confident the digital download market will remain resilient.


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