Inforte Reports Slim Profits

Sees market warming to demand-chain solutions

Chicago, IL  January 25, 2002  Demand chain management consultancy Inforte Corp. today reported a slim positive cash flow for the fourth quarter ending December 31 and said that the market for demand-chain solutions looked set to pick up.

Inforte reported fourth quarter revenues of $10.5 million and a profit of $0.6 million, excluding a one-time charge of $1.4 million. The result marked the company's 16th consecutive quarter with positive cash flow.

In a statement, Inforte CEO Phil Bligh was measured in his predictions for the coming year. "While we note that the macro economy has shown some signs of stabilization, we are still seeing cautious levels of commitment and spending from our clients," he said.

However, Bligh believes that companies are in the process of turning to their demand chains for increased revenues. "Recent client surveys reveal that customer-facing solutions are the current priority, as most businesses have heightened their focus on revenue generation and optimizing customer and channel profitability," he said in the Inforte statement. "We also see a growing desire by clients to gain greater visibility and value from existing [customer relationship management] solutions by integrating this timely and often volatile demand information with their supply and resource planning processes."

Despite this cautious optimism, Nick Padgett, Inforte's chief financial officer, predicted flat cash earnings per share of $0.00 for the quarters moving forward. The company expects to incur expenses for a headcount reduction this quarter.

New clients that signed on with Inforte during the past quarter included BNP Paribas, LexisNexis, Maytag, Prudential and Sprint.