Indian paper's Web site turns a profit

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BOMBAY -- The online arm of the Indian Express Group, one of India's leading newspaper publishers, has posted favorable results for its two-year-old start-up, aided greatly by the popularity of its web site.

Indian Express closed fiscal 1997-98 ending March 31 with revenues of $833,000, up from $277,000 in the previous year. Projections for the year to March 31, 1999 are set at $2.4 million, making the marketer one of the top rankers in the Indian Internet-related services market.

The site, which offers round-theclock news of Indian and overseas developments and access to various Indian Express Group publications on-line, is currently one of the most popular web site for resident and expatriate Indians. The site is part of Indian Express Online Media, the Internet arm of the publisher.

The publisher says accounts for nearly 45% of the total ad sales generated. Such advertisers as IBM Corp., Citibank, Hindustan Lever, Prudential Asia, Intel Corp. and Shaw Wallace & Co. are among a hundred others impressed by the 2.5 millions impressions received daily by the Bombay-based site.

Indian Express Online Media has also expanded into daily news coverage in standard or personalized formats, e-mailed each day as The Morning Digest to registered subscribers. This service accounts for a quarter of the marketer's revenues.

Other ventures of Indian Express include the fax-ondemand Dr. Know service and a chain of Internetlinked cyber cafes and pubs in Indian cities. The marketer's award-winning web-design division boasts such local clients as tire maker Ceat, the Ambassador hotel chain, steel maker Ispat and liquor marketer United Breweries for its Kingfisher beer.

Rivals to are the web-versions of leading Indian papers like,, and, among others.

Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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