April 29, 2011, 3:28 PM

Q1 revenue at GSI Commerce rises nearly 19%

But acquisition activity costs widen its operating losses by 116%.

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GSI Commerce Inc., a provider of e-commerce and online marketing technology and services to more than 200 retailers including Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. and Timberland Co., said revenue rose 18.7% to $323.5 million for the first quarter ended April 2, up from $272.6 million in the year-earlier period.

The company’s acquisition activity, however, resulted in a 116.3% widening of its Q1 operating loss to $27.9 million from $12.9 million a year earlier, as its net loss expanded 67.9% to $13.6 million from $8.1 million.

GSI says those costs have included $7.3 million related to GSI’s pending acquisition by eBay Inc., $3.5 million from GSI’s acquisition of sports gear retailer Fanatics Inc. and $3.3 million in earn-out expenses tied to its 2010 acquisition of marketing technology and services company FetchBack Inc. Earn-out expenses are typically paid to former owners if an acquired company meets a certain level of financial performance.

GSI also reported for Q1:

● Non-GAAP income from operations, which GSI refers to as NGIO, fell 14.9% to $14.8 million from $17.4 million. GAAP stands for generally accepted accounting principles; non-GAAP figures do not include unusual costs such as GSI’s recent acquisition-related expenses.

● Core NGIO, which entails GSI’s global e-commerce and global marketing services and corporate overhead, rose 4.3% year over year to $19.3 million from $18.5 million;

● Emerging NGIO, which includes GSI’s Rue La La and ShopRunner operations, showed a loss of $4.6 million, nearly four times the $1.2 million loss in the year-earlier period. Rue La La is a members-only web retailer that offers limited-time sales of designer apparel, travel packages and other products. ShopRunner is a service that lets online retailers offer cut-rate shipping for an annual fee, competing with the Amazon Prime program from Amazon.com Inc.

Amazon.com is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide; Rue La La is No. 103, Timberland is No. 436, and Toys ‘R’ Us is No. 37.

EBay’s Christopher Payne vice president of head of eBay North America, will give a keynote address on “The future of e-commerce” at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in June.

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