AOL Latin America shrinks loss, but sees revenue drop

America Online (AOL) Latin America Inc. narrowed its net loss in the third quarter, but also saw its revenue and membership rolls shrink.

The company, which provides Internet access and content in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Puerto Rico, posted a net loss of US$28.6 million, or US$0.21 per share, down 28 per cent from last year’s third quarter. Revenue dropped eight per cent to US$16.3 million.

Membership fell 21 per cent to 492,000 members as of Sept. 30 and is expected to continue declining in the current quarter, as AOL Latin America continues weeding out subscribers who either don’t pay on time or who don’t choose a paid plan after their free trial period ends. Those 492,000 members include an undisclosed number who are on free trial periods.

AOL Latin America, whose two main stakeholders are Time Warner Inc.’s America Online Inc. Internet subsidiary and Venezuela’s media conglomerate Grupo Cisneros, has never been profitable since its creation in late 1998. The company, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, saw its subscription revenue drop six per cent to US$14.8 million, while advertising and e-commerce revenue fell 16 per cent to USS$1.5 million.