America Online (AOL) reported an unexpected, but welcome, net income of $2.6 million, or two cents per share, for the three months ended March 31. In the first full quarter since the introduction of flat-rate pricing - unlimited use for $19.95 per month - third quarter revenues climbed 46 per cent to $456.2 million.
Revenues from non-subscription activities tripled to $74.7 million; advertising and electronic commerce jumped 37 per cent from the December quarter to $60.7 million, and from $15 million in 1996.
The world?s largest online service provider was not expected to show profits until the fourth quarter. Apart from the effect of the flat fee, it says churn in the subscriber base has improved significantly. The rate of trials to conversions, and customer retention, for April were at their highest for the past 12 months.
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