August 23, 2005, 12:00 AM

Provide Commerce expects web sales to sprout 18% in 2006

Provide Commerce expects fiscal 2006 sales of $216 million to $224 million, while net income is expected to rise to $8.8 million to $9.9 million. For Q1 2006, Provide Commerce expects Internet sales to be $25.5 million to $26.3 million.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor


Provide Commerce Inc., an online retailer of flowers and other perishable goods, expects its web sales to grow between 16% and 18% next year. Provide Commerce increased its Internet sales 37% in the 2005 fiscal year to $177.1 million from $128.8 million in 2004. But the company is expecting even better top-line growth in 2006.

In its fourth quarter 2005 financial release, Provide Commerce, No. 59 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, says that its fiscal 2006 sales will range between $216 million and $224 million, while net income is expected to rise to between $8.8 million and $9.9 million.

For the first quarter of its 2006 fiscal year, Provide Commerce also expects sales to be $25.5 million to $26.3 million. “We enter fiscal 2006 with record levels of everyday floral sales, significant holiday shipment growth and continuing strength in our gourmet food business unit,” says CEO Bill Strauss.

Provide, which operates, its flagship web site, and food sites and, is counting on a strong 2006 fiscal year for a number of reasons, including more repeat business and higher average orders.

For the fourth quarter and the full 2005 fiscal year, Provide added approximately 472,000 and 1.2 million new customers, respectively. The quarterly additions represent a 27% year-over-year increase, the company says. Provide`s database of customers at the end of its 2005 fiscal year also grew to 4.3 million names, an increase of 39% compared to 3.1 million customers as of June 30, 2004. In addition, returning customers generated 55% of net sales during the fourth quarter of 2005, compared to 54% in the same quarter in 2004. Average order value was $49.56 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 compared to $48.43 during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004.



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