Earnings: Phorm Nearly Halves Its Losses, Still No Income In Sight

Phorm still doesn’t have any clients or income in sight but, after cutting spending, it’s at least managed to nearly halve its losses and cash burn.

The controversial on-net behavioural ad targeter has cut its January-to-June operating loss from last year’s $25.6 million (£15.7 million) to $15 million (£9.2 million), after slimming outgoings from last year’s $3.1 million (£1.9 million) a month to $1.8 million (£1.1 million) a month.

But the Phorm earnings sheet‘s “revenue” column is blank – there’s no money coming in other than from its recent share placement, which has left it with $30.1 million (£18.5 million) in the bank. In the announcement, CEO Kent Ertugrul says this is “a strong balance sheet”.

After a nightmare year in its native UK, topped by BT’s admission it has “no immediate plans” to launch Phorm and TalkTalk ruling out a deployment, tainted Phorm is desperately looking overseas for business.

In South Korea, a market trial with the country’s biggest ISP, KT, is nearing completion and discussions continue with ISPs in 15 markets. But that has been the situation for months – so either those discussions are very complex or they are not progressing very far. Still, Ertugrul says Phorm is making “substantial operational progress”. He’s crossing his fingers Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) won’t finally make a statement ruling itself out.

Phorm has cut its R&D budget by more than a quarter to $2.8 million (£1.72 million) and its admin and sales outgoings by 48 percent to $11.1 million (£6.83 million).

But the revolving door keeps on turning: both Guardian.co.uk and Telegraph.co.uk report that CTO Stratis Scelparis has left the company, while director of corporate comms David Sawday has also left. But through the in-door comes a small online sales team recruited from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to boost its biz dev credentials, which the company says has “industrialised” its so far unused sales process.