Olympics and US elections push video search engine Blinkx up

EXCITEMENT over the US elections and the Olympics propelled video-search engine Blinkx to an 84 per cent rise in half-year revenues, the company said yesterday.

Blinkx, which searches content from websites such as YouTube, beat City forecasts and its own predictions to report turnover of $82m (£51.6m) in the six months to October, up from $44.6m a year ago. Pre-tax profit rose 67 per cent to $2.5m.

“During the period, we benefited from increased advertising spend allocated to specific events – the summer Olympics and the US presidential elections,” chief executive S. Brian Mukherjee said. “These one-time events provided us with a better-than-expected boost to revenues during the traditionally slower summer months.”

As traffic to Blinkx’s website improved over the summer, it managed to sign up high-profile ad clients including Google, Microsoft and Gillette.

And despite the one-off nature of the boosts it received in the period, Blinkx said it was seeing “powerful secular trends” that proved promising, such as the worldwide growth of high-speed internet connections and smartphone sales.

Shares in Blinkx, which had jumped 25 per cent last month when the firm flagged the boost from the Olympics and election, rose another three per cent yesterday.

Citi analyst Thomas Singlehurst said the statement proved that Blinkx was in “rude health”, and added that it “gives comfort in the secular drivers of growth for online video advertising and therefore the market as a whole”.

“As comfort in Blinkx’s ability to meet forecasts goes up, we think there is scope for a significant rerating of the shares,” he said.