Losses widen at Belzberg

Losses widen at Belzberg

US broker dealer and direct access exchange trading vendor Belzberg Technologies is reporting a 15% decline in first quarter revenues and higher losses compared to the same period a year ago.

Belzberg has announced revenues of $6 million for the quarter ending March 2003 and a loss before interest and charges of $852,000 compared to a loss in the same period a year ago of $390,000. Net loss for the quarter was $1.9 million, including $734,000 of non-cash amortisation charges and a $273,000 charge for employee severance relating to a restructuring announced in January of this year.

CEO Sid Belzberg says the company was hit by a decline in trading volumes during the Iaqi conflict. He adds: "Both equities and options order flow bounced back in March and April, and we expect this trend to continue throughout Q2 and beyond."

Belzberg says that 17 new customers went live during the latter part of the first quarter, and the financial benefit of this will be reflected in the company's Q2 results. Additionally, seven new clients were installed in April, and nine new clients are scheduled to start trading in May.

Longer-term prospects look good, insists Belzberg, pointing to a recent agreement with the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the clinching of 12 new orders for the HyTS options trading terminal.

"We have the largest sales pipeline in the company's history," he says. "These factors, combined with the improving volumes we see in our core business, will drive revenue growth throughout the year."

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