Excite exits Europe


Internet group Excite has announced it is axing media operations in France, Germany and Spain.

The closures are expected to be carried out next month, with European operations being focussed on the UK and Italy.

The slump in online advertising is being blamed for the cuts, with the company struggling to become profitable. It is unclear how many jobs will be lost.

'While it is disappointing that market conditions make it necessary to discontinue certain European businesses, it is important for us to continue to focus more closely on our strengths,' said Excite@Home chairman and CEO Patti Hart.

'We remain optimistic regarding the growth prospects for Excite UK and Excite Italia, and we will continue to concentrate on delivering value to our shareholders.'

Company bosses say Excite UK and Italia still have positive futures, despite the downturn in the European internet advertising market. It has a 58 per cent holding in Excite UK - a joint venture with BT - which had revenues of more than EUR 10 million last year and showed a small profit for the last quarter. Operations in Australia and Japan will not be affected.