After reorganisation and cut-back on management costs as well as the conclusion of write- offs of all non-performing or under-capitalised holdings during 2002, Novestra will finalise its consolidation process to 4 – 5 strategic holdings during 2003. Novestra expects to show a net profit on a full-year basis in 2003.
The strategic holdings have had a strong performance in 2002:
Explorica, Inc. (16.6% ownership, incl. warrants) – a U.S.-based educational travel company founded in 2000. Explorica’s online and sales strategy has produced booking sales growth for 2003 of close to 300% in the first eleven months of 2002. The company is expected to become cash flow positive during 2003 and continue to show continued revenue growth.
MyPublisher, Inc. (29.5% ownership, incl. warrants) – a U.S.-based fulfilment partner offering solutions related to digital imaging. MyPublisher has signed distribution agreements with a number of leading companies in the computer and software industries, most of which will launch their product offerings during 2003. The company is currently cash flow positive on an EBITDA level and will show a revenue growth of approximately 280% during 2002.
Qbranch AB (25% ownership) – a system management company based in Sweden with a number of customers in, i.a., the pharmaceuticals and banking industry. In the past three years, Qbranch has shown a strong growth and profit development. During 2001, Qbranch showed a pre-tax profit of MSEK 21 on revenues of MSEK 178. For 2002, the company has continued to deliver strong net profit margins.
Netsurvey AB (46% ownership) – a Sweden-based research company that has developed a proprietary platform that enables it to offer real time online survey results to customers such as Volvo, Ericsson and Telia. During 2001, Netsurvey had revenues of MSEK 28. Netsurvey is currently cash flow positive and expects to resume growth in 2003.
In addition, Novestra has the following holdings: B2 Bredband AB (2 % ownership, book value SEK 0 in Novestra) – is one of Sweden’s leading provider of broadband with close to 100,000 customers. B2 Bredband has had a growth rate of more than 100% during 2002. Strax Holdings, Inc., a marketer and distributor of mobile phones and accessories. DCM AB, a fulfilment partner producing, packing and distributing CDs and DVDs to customers in the entertainment and software industry. All three companies show substantial revenue.
Novestra’s co-investment vehicle Continuum Group Ltd (12.3 % ownership) further holds a shareholding of 14.4 % of the outstanding preferred shares in B2 Bredband AB.
Other holdings through Continuum include:
Bibit Billing Services B.V. – a pan-European online payment services provider specialized in processing payments, originating from various channels, over an Internet infrastructure. Bibit Billing Services has been cash flow positive since June of 2002. The company has recently been ranked at fifth place in “Deloitte’s 2002 European Technology Fast 500 Winners”.
Speedera Networks, Inc. – a U.S.-based provider of managed Internet communications services combining speed, scalability and security. The company lists Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and AT&T Wireless among its growing customer base. Speedera Networks, which was recently named “the No. 1 Pick of The Web” by Forbes Magazine is showing a growth in sales exceeding 100% for the first eleven months of 2002.
For further information, please contact Mr Peter Ekelund, Managing Director, Phone No. +46 8 545 017 50.
About AB Novestra
Novestra is an independent venture capital investment company with focus on investments in growth companies providing enabling network technologies and services for the communications industry. Novestra’s portfolio of companies includes B2 Bredband AB, Continuum Group Ltd, Explorica, Inc., myPublisher, Inc., Netsurvey AB, Qbranch AB and Strax Holdings, Inc.
Novestra’s shares are listed on the O-List of Stockholmsbörsen.
For information regarding AB Novestra, please see www.novestra.com