Fast Search & Transfer ASA

Fast Search & Transfer Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2004 Results

    Oslo, Norway (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - FAST Achieved Record Revenues in Q4 of $20.4 million, Boosting Annual  Growth to 50%; At $5.2 Million in Q4, FAST's Year-to-Date EBITDA Grew by  82%, Reaching 24% of Revenues

    Fast Search & Transfer(TM) (FAST(TM)), the leading developer of enterprise search and real-time alerting technologies, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2004.

@@start.t1@@      Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2004 Highlights
      - Q4 2004 revenues of $20.4 million, growing 24% over Q3 and 64% year on
            - 50% annual growth driven by widening adoption of the FAST
                Enterprise Search Platform (FAST ESP(TM)), Search Derivative
                Applications (SDAs), and recently launched OEM solution
      - Q4 operating income of $2.8 million - more than doubling year on year
         and positive for 9th straight quarter
            - Increased year-to-date operating income to $7.2 million, growing
                89% year on year
      - EBIT of $3.5 million in Q4 - four times year on year & positive for 9th
         straight quarter
            - Increased year to date EBIT to $7.9 million, nearly three times
                year on year
      - EBITDA of $5.2 million in Q4 - more than doubling year on year &
         positive for 12th straight quarter
            - Increased year to date EBITDA to $15.5 million, growing 82% year
                on year
      - Launched new product in the fourth quarter: FAST ImPulse(TM), a new
         Search Derivative Application (SDA) representing the most complete
         enterprise search, navigation, and merchandising software solution
         for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C)
         eCommerce applications.
      - Client News: Key wins in eCommerce, Government, Financial Services and
         Publishing markets
            - New enterprise search clients include: America Online, Inc.,
                Associated News Media, Factiva,, Herefordshire
                Council, Herold (MediaTel), John Lewis, Oslo Kommune, SURFnet,
                Tenet Healthcare and

@@start.t2@@      Q4 2004 Financial Highlights
                      For the three months ended              For the year ended
      (Amounts  31                30                31              31                31
         in         December      September    December    December      December
      US$000's) 04                04                03              04                03
                  (unaudited)  (unaudited) (unaudited) (unaudited)
      REVENUES  20,409            16,503        12,442        63,574        42,416
      EBITDA(1)  5,209              4,135         2,378        15,470         8,502
      EBIT(1)      3,481              2,155            869         7,910         2,877
      Net            2,847              1,742         3,945         6,395        67,596
      (1) EBITDA and EBIT exclude income (loss) from discontinued operations.@@end@@

    Financial Performance

    Commenting on the results, Dr. John M. Lervik chief executive officer of FAST stated, "In Q4 2004, FAST continued to deliver a strong revenue performance with record level enterprise search revenues of $20.4 million; this represents growth of 24% over last quarter and 64% over the same quarter last year. We are encouraged that FAST continues to set the pace for the Enterprise Search industry. With numerous break-through advances being made to our technology platform, a wealth of new customer installations and global partnerships, and a dramatic growth in terms of our global presence, revenue and leadership in the search market, 2004 was a year of exceptional performance for FAST."

    Ali I. Riaz, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at FAST, remarked, "Our financial performance continued to strengthen in Q4 indicated by the growth in new and recurring business, which resulted in top line growth of 64% and more than doubling EBITDA over last year. In 2004, revenues grew by an impressive 50%, EBITDA increased by 82%, and the EBITDA to revenue margin pushed upward from 20% to 24%. In summary, FAST reached significant financial milestones in Q4 2004 with the fastest growing revenues and leading profitability in the industry."

    Corporate Developments

    "FAST is working with its customers and partners to expand the role and business impact of enterprise search and to provide them with specialized search applications that meet their specific needs," commented Lervik. In the past quarter, the Company unveiled FAST ImPulse, the most complete enterprise search, navigation, and merchandising software solution for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) eCommerce applications. Leveraging FAST ESP, FAST's award-winning enterprise search platform, FAST ImPulse gives eCommerce business managers an easy-to-deploy, out of the box solution that provides unprecedented levels of control over site navigation and merchandising. Furthermore, it enables buyers to quickly find the products they are shopping for by using FAST's best-in-class search capabilities.

    In Q4, many global organizations including America Online, Inc., Associated News Media, Factiva,, Herefordshire Council, Herold (MediaTel) John Lewis, Oslo Kommune, Tenet Healthcare, SURFnet and signed on or expanded their agreements with FAST as enterprise customers to use FAST's search technology and expand their utilization by deploying additional applications. These deals further demonstrate FAST's ability to retain and enhance existing client relationships against stiff competition.

    FAST continues to enjoy increased market visibility and recognition for its corporate growth and superior enterprise search offerings. In Q4, the Company received a number of prominent awards from leading search and IT industry media for the Company's innovation and technology advancements, as well as its corporate growth. Online Information selected FAST ESP as "Best Search Product," the Software & Information Industry Association (SIAA) nominated FAST ESP for the second consecutive year in its "Best Enterprise Search Engine" category of its annual Codie Awards program, and for the fourth consecutive year, EContent magazine named FAST to its annual EContent 100 listing. Formulated by EContent's contributing editors, staff, and editors at fellow ITI publications, the EContent 100 list includes 100 companies that matter most in the digital content industry.

    An expanding number of industry analyst groups, including Gartner, IDC, Jupiter Research, The Patricia Seybold Group, Ballardvale Research, The Delphi Group, The Kelsey Group and continue to support and applaud the strategic directions and innovative solutions that FAST continues to unveil to the market.


    In Q4, FAST has driven exponential innovation in the enterprise search space, both from a technology and market perspective. FAST has developed Search Derivative Applications (SDAs) that sit on top of FAST ESP for specific vertical or task-specific applications, including Market Intelligence, Online Directories, Publishing, Online Retailing, and more. FAST's solutions have become a key enabler of exponential innovations for our clients and partners in key areas such as Business Intelligence (BI), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Knowledge Management, and Storage.

    The high profile product launch of FAST ImPulse demonstrates our innovative and scalable technology, market leadership in the eCommerce sector and the Company's increased focus upon delivering solutions-oriented product offerings. At the time of launch, the application generated strong praise and endorsements from industry analysts as well as immediate interest from customers.

    2005 Business Focus

    "We are encouraged that FAST continues to deliver strong financial results in a slowly recovering global economic environment," added Lervik. "Our performance validates our approach to the market. Our exceptionally strong technology, increased market recognition and a rapidly growing top-tier global client and partner base, position FAST for another year of very strong growth."

    About FAST

    FAST creates the real-time search and filter technology solutions that are behind the scenes at the world's best known companies with the most demanding search problems. FAST's flexible and scalable integrated technology platform elevates the search capabilities of enterprise customers and connects people to the relevant information they seek regardless of medium. This drives revenues and reduces total cost of ownership by effectively leveraging IT infrastructure. FAST's powerful enterprise search technology solutions are used by more than 1,500 global customers and partners, including AT&T, Cardinal Health,, Chordiant, CIGNA, CNET, Dell, Fidelity Investments, Findexa, (GSA), IBM, Knight Ridder, LexisNexis, Nordstrom, Overture, Rakuten, Reed Elsevier, Reuters, Sensis, Tenet Healthcare, Thomas Industrial Networks, T-Online, US Army, Virgilio (Telecom Italia), Vodafone and Wanadoo.

    FAST is headquartered in Norway and is publicly traded under the ticker symbol 'FAST' on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The FAST Group operates globally with presence in Europe, the United States and Japan. Additionally, the FAST Group has business partners and customers in a number of other locations, such as Brazil, Canada and Australia. For further information about FAST, please visit

    (c) 2005 Fast Search & Transfer ASA - Fast Search & Transfer, FAST, FAST ESP, FAST Data Search, FAST Marketrac, FAST AdVisor, FAST InStream, FAST ImPulse and the FAST four-colored logo are trademarks of Fast Search & Transfer ASA. All rights reserved. FAST disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

    Q4-04 Press Release and Quarterly Report:

ots Originaltext: Fast Search & Transfer ASA
Im Internet recherchierbar:

Media Relations Contact: Peter Gorman, +1-781-304-2495 ,; Investor Relations Contact: Ali I. Riaz,
CFO, +1-508-904-7429,

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