KARLSRUHE (dpa-AFX) - Internet service provider Ionos has earned significantly more than expected at the beginning of the year, despite slower growth than recently. The United Internet subsidiary announced in Karlsruhe on Wednesday that its net profit for the three months to the end of March rose by 5.4 percent year-on-year to 373 million euros.

Thanks in particular to successful sales of additional options, the SDax company earned just under 106 million euros before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and special items, a good fifth more than in the previous year. The corresponding margin for the first quarter increased by four percentage points to 28.4%. While Ionos surprised with its operating profit, analysts had on average hoped for more in terms of earnings.

Ionos CEO Achim Weiß and CFO Britta Schmidt want to step up a gear in the further course of the year. The sales trend should accelerate in the second half of the year in particular. Revenue for the year as a whole is expected to increase by around eleven percent from 1.4 billion euros, adjusted for currency effects. The adjusted operating margin should then increase by around one percentage point to around 28.5 percent./ngu/zb/he