The trend towards profitability among some of Ireland’s leading websites continues with the news that relationship marketing site Pigsback.com is on target to meet its growth and profit objectives for its fiscal year ending 30 June, 2003.
Empathy Marketing Limited, the company which operates the website, has announced that budgeted turnover for the fiscal year is €2.55m, up 45pc on the previous year. Turnover for the first eight months of the year (July 02 to February 03) is up 54pc at €1.44m.
Profit figures have not been disclosed but the company says it expects a “substantial profit” for the year in the Republic of Ireland.
The company recorded its first monthly profit in March 2002 and expected to be consistently profitable from January this year.
The company also continues to expand outside of the Republic. It opened a Belfast office last May and is currently doing feasibility studies of the UK market.
“We continue to be very encouraged by the reaction of Irish consumers and by top national and international brands to the Pigsback.com model. Business is buoyant with a strong business pipeline,” commented Michael Dwyer, chief executive, Pigsback.com. “We believe we are developing a new marketing business in Ireland that will be substantial and profitable.”
Pigsback rewards visitors to the site with PiggyPoints which can then be redeemed against a range of goods and services provided by partner companies. The company has recently completed significant new marketing agreements with Aer Lingus, O2, Bord Bia, Nokia, Oasis (public services online) and BT Northern Ireland.
To date, approximately 81,000 members have printed over four million coupons from the site. On average, Pigsback.com issues two million PiggyPoints per week (the equivalent of €20,000 in rewards).
Pigsback.com averages 300,000 visits per month, with an additional 250,000 email reads by its members.The site is now ranked among the top 10 Irish websites in terms of traffic (source: lcan – Little Red Book, March 2003).
The feeling that the internet crash may have bottomed out has been given credence by positive announcements by Irish websites in recent months. Ebookers.ie, the Irish arm of the UK travel website, reported that it was profitable and that its annual sales had risen by 300pc year on year to €10m for the year ending 31 December, 2002, and expected to double that figure this year. Last December, another well known website, etailer Buy4now.ie, announced a 74pc increase in online turnover to €6.84m and a net profit of €14.8k for the financial year to September 2002.
By Brian Skelly