* First-half EBITDA up 76 pct year on year
* Shares up 16 pct
(Adds CEO comment, background, shares)
By Joshua Franklin
LONDON, Nov 5 British online media group Blinkx
posted a big jump in half-year profit, lifting its
shares by 13 percent and taking it close to a $1 billion
valuation less than 10 years since starting life as a
side-project for software company Autonomy.
Blinkx, whose video search engine competes against the likes
of Yahoo! Video and Google Video, generates
revenue through online advertisers and says that 168 million
people a month use its search technology in the United States.
That compares with 100 million worldwide in March.
The company, which has partnerships with web portal AOL
and mobile device maker Samsung, is one of
this year's top performers on the FTSE AIM 100. Its shares have
risen by 180 percent since the start of the year, against a 30
percent gain for the wider index.
Blinkx shares were up 16 percent by 1404 GMT at a record 195
"This has been an exciting first half for Blinkx," Chief
Executive Subhransu Mukherjee said after announcing a
forecast-beating 76 percent leap in core earnings.
"The business continues to demonstrate robust underlying
growth and stability."
Blinkx reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation (EBITDA) of $18.2 million in the six months to
Citi and Numis analysts had been expecting EBITDA closer to
Jefferies analysts said in a note: "A fast-moving space, we
see the financially robust as prospective winners. Today's
revenue growth, gross margin, EBITDA margin, cash and cash
conversion mark Blinkx as such."
About 15 percent of Blinkx users access the technology on
mobile devices and CEO Mukherjee said he expects advertising on
mobile platforms to be a big driver for the company's future
He also said that emerging markets will become increasingly
important to the group, though it could be a few years until
advertising revenue begins to make an impact.
"While the growth of users, particularly in mobile devices,
is really at stratospheric levels in the emerging markets, the
truth is that the advertising dollars behind that is still in an
embryonic stage," he said.
Blinkx was founded by Autonomy in 2004 and listed on
London's AIM market in 2007. Autonomy, now owned by U.S.
computer group Hewlett-Packard, sold its remaining
Blinkx stake in June this year for 55 million pounds ($88
($1 = 0.6269 British pounds)
(Editing by David Goodman)