The UK's Metrodome Group saw its shares hit a 12-month low on Tuesday after posting a loss of $908,000 for the six months ended 30 September 2000.
The media group blamed higher than expected costs at direct marketing division Home Entertainment. The group's share price slumped to $0.53 on Tuesday, down 25% in a week. Shares have fallen steadily in recent months from a 12-month high of $2.40 early last year. The group's market capitalisation is now $4.4m compared to a record $15.6m - almost double previous years - for the year ending March 2000.
The posting comes hard on the heels of the departure of Home Entertainment managing director Stephen Douglas from the group earlier this month. Metrodome said Home Entertainment's traditional mail order business had under-performed, while the group spent heavily on expanding the division's on-line activities.
The company is introducing a new management structure, with John Hall separating his roles as chairman and chief executive. Howard Mighell, currently group finance director, becomes group managing director.
Commenting on the fall in share price, Hall said: "The market is very wary at the moment. Quite a lot of our investors are private shareholders who might initially have bought into us as an Internet stock. We are not, we are a media stock."
Hall added that the group is operating within its existing bank facilities and expects Home Entertainment to be profitable within 12 months. He noted that turnover at the group has increased by 136% to $8.7m in the period, compared with $3.7m for the same period last year.
"We expect turnover to continue to grow, and by the year end of 31 March 2001, to substantially exceed last year's sales of $11.3m," he said.
The groups' releasing arm Metrodome Distribution made a positive contribution despite disappointing theatrical releases such as Sorted, which grossed only $131,250 (£90,000) despite opening on 134 prints. Metrodome's Warner Bros DVD collector sets, originally due for release in July, were delayed until the end of September. The theatrical schedule for 2001 includes Shadow Of The Vampire, The Body and Last Orders.