European Internet sales will top $2,000bn by 2002, according to KPMG Consulting, writes Alex Miller. European companies' annual Internet sales are expected to explode by as much as 1000% by the year 2002, according to last week's research. The fourth annual pan-European survey by KPMG Consulting said that the current sales figure of $288bn is expected to increase to an estimated US $2004.4bn (£1,240bn). The estimate follows the findings of the survey which discovered almost a fifth (18%) of companies have launched a product that is only available over the Internet. In addition, nearly three-quarters of the 357 European company senior directors questioned, have, in the last three years, launched a new product or promoted an existing one, using e-commerce technologies. The research revealed that the gap between the electronically sophisticated companies and 'the rest', identified in last year's report, is now narrowing. The report also found 63% of companies now have sales attributable to the Internet, up from 45% last year. By 2002, 83% of respondents said they expected to be making Internet transactions. In the UK Internet transactions represent 3.3% of total sales, almost double last year's figure. Alan Buckle, chief executive at KPMG Consulting, said: 'In the last 12 months, European business has grasped the monumental scale of the e-business and e-commerce opportunity. All business leaders now know that they must respond quickly or die.'
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