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ADULTSHOP - The West Australian

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    Bullish outlook lifts AdultShop

    By Neale Prior



    PORNOGRAPHY purveyor AdultShop.com yesterday aroused sharemarket punters with bullish financial projections for the months ahead.

    Trading in AdultShop.com shares was briefly halted yesterday morning before the Northbridge company released a set of financial projections that forecast net profits of $5.36 million for the June half and $11.62 million for the December half.

    AdultShop.com shares rallied from a pre-halt level around 24¢ to above 36¢ on hefty volumes as the market absorbed the projections and predictions of continuing strong growth from its Today's Success Pty Ltd online pornography operations.

    The shares closed at 34.5¢, 11.5¢ up for the day.

    Yesterday's series of projections comes as senior AdultShop.com management, led by managing director Malcolm Day, embarks on what is believed to be its first investment roadshow since before the company converted from a resources stock in 1999 during the dot.com boom.

    Like other dot.com survivors, AdultShop.com burnt cash and had struggled to make a highly profitable business from its online retailing of sex aids, lingerie, magazines and videos.

    But its fortunes turned around at the end of last financial year when it acquired the Today's Success cyber-porn business from Queensland internet entrepreneurs Dean Shannon and Ray Jones in a $12 million scrip and cash deal.

    AdultShop owns or is linked to a series of pornography sites that can charge subscribers fees of up to $US49.95 ($89.90) a month through credit card direct debits for online access to hardcore pornography.

    AdultShop.com showed signs that cash was flowing in from the pornography business when it released its cash flows for the December 2001 quarter, when its cash holdings rose $4.2 million.

    But its profit for the December 2001 half remained modest at $272,000.

    Yesterday's forecasts indicate the company is expecting the benefits of the Today's Success acquisition to flow to its profit statements with a net profit of about $5.6 million for the year to June 30 after the bumper second half.

    It forecast revenue of $80.88 million for the June half and $106.57 million for the December 2002 half.

    Mr Day said yesterday he believed AdultShop.com was well placed to continue its strong growth but would not give projections for the June 2003 half.

    He said he had released the figures so there could not be any suggestions management was telling a different story to the market than it was giving in broker briefings.

    He had been reluctant to do roadshows until the company had put runs on the board.

    "A lot of investors had been burnt by the dot.coms and people didn't want to hear that we're going to do this or going to do that," he said.

    DJ Carmichael & Co analyst Peter Strachan said the figures released yesterday indicated AdultShop.com could conservatively achieve post-tax earnings of 6¢ a share if it was able to maintain its growth.
 
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