Local.com said during an earnings call today that it now has 3,500 direct advertisers, largely sold by a team of 100 outside sales personnel. It has also reached a plateau of more than 18 million monthly unique visitors from organic search on the Local.com site and network (but won’t disclose the split between them).
The company recently developed its own rating and reviews service, as well as a “best of local” awards program in 15 cities and 20 categories. Its efforts have resulted in a 10 percent boost in 3Q earnings over the previous quarter, with a final tally expected to hit $10.6 million. But the company still operates in the red, with losses projected at $1.8 million (or $800,000 when non-cash expenses are taken out).
CEO Heath Clarke said he expects to be running in the black for the fourth quarter, or have “net income exceed net losses.” In ’09, anticipated profits will be spent, in part, on the company’s first ever branding effort. Clarke also says that while a U.K. site continues to run, the company is intent “on getting the formula right” in the U.S. before it has any major expansion overseas.