Yahoo plans US broadband push as Q4 revenue rises –

Yahoo Inc. reported Wednesday a solid fourth-quarter profit on surging revenue and disclosed plans of a broadband service push in the U.S.

Yahoo posted a fourth-quarter net profit of US$46.2 million on sales of $285.8 million for the period ending Dec. 31, compared with a net loss of $8.7 million on revenue of $188.9 million during the same period in 2001, the company said in a statement.

The Web portal also reported a full-year 2002 revenue of $953.1 million, up 33 percent over $717.4 million the year before.

Gains were largely due to improvements in several business areas, including fee and listings-based services, according to Yahoo. Fees and listings revenue was $89.4 million in 2002, a 120 percent increase compared to the same period in 2001, the company said.

Transaction revenue increased 45 percent to $19 million, it said.

Yahoo plans to expand its broadband Internet service in the U.S., according to the company's chief executive officer, Terry Semel. The company offers a co-branded bandwidth service with SBC Communications Inc. It intends to extend its broadband service across the U.S. sometime this year through deals with local cable companies, Semel said in an interview with the The New York Times, adding that he would explain his broadband strategy at a meeting with investors next month.

In the fourth quarter, Nielsen//Net Ratings ranked Yahoo the world's most visited Web site for the 30th consecutive month, based on unique audience, total time spent, reach and total page views, according to the statement. The Web portal's global audience, excluding its Japanese unit, was approximately 213 million unique users in December 2002, compared to approximately 188 million in the same period the year before.

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