Online florist FTD.com this week reported net income of $2.4 million on sales of $36.1 million for its third quarter ended March 31. It was a dramatic increase over the year-ago third quarter, when the Downers Grove, Ill.-based company posted a net loss of $8.5 million, and the third consecutive profitable quarter for FTD.com. Helping to fuel profits was the web, where orders rose 46% over last year. FTD.com also does telephone sales. Reduced customer acquisition costs helped the bottom line, said CEO Michael Soenen, as the company moved to balance marketing efforts to attract new customers with efforts to retain existing ones. This strategic shift reduced customer acquisition costs 67% to $14.25 per customer in the third quarter, down from $43.26 for the third quarter last year. The total number of FTD.com customer accounts at the end of the quarter was 3.1 million, a 51% increase from the 2.1 million accounts in place a year ago.
The company is projecting revenue growth of 20% to 30% for its fourth fiscal quarter. “With our historically largest revenue quarter remaining, we expect to continue to report revenue growth and profitability for both the upcoming fourth quarter and the entire fiscal year 2001,” says Soenen.