Making world smaller Golden's ACT taps conferencing market
Byline: Leyla Kokmen, Denver Post Business Writer
In an era where business ventures cross countries, oceans and continents, getting colleagues together in one room can be all but impossible.
ACT Teleconferencing is counting on that.
The 8-year-old company, with headquarters in the Denver West office park in Golden, uses audio conferences to connect businesses across the United States and world.
"The fundamental issue is conducting electronic information without having to travel," said Gerry van Eeckhout, chairman of ACT.
Last year was a big one for the fledgling company, still struggling with profitability since its initial public offering in March 1996.
ACT estimates about $10 million in revenue for 1997, a 60 percent increase over 1996. When it closes the books on 1997, the company also expects about a $1 million improvement over its bottom line in 1996, allowing it to just about break even.
"I've been kind of surprised at their growth over the past year," said Elliot Gold, who publishes TeleSpan, an Altadena, Calif., newsletter on the teleconferencing industry.
While the company's divisions in Denver and London have been profitable, the other offices ACT has been opening around the world, in Amsterdam, Brussels and Sydney, have not reached profitability yet, Van Eeckhout said. The costs of developing those start-up operations still outweigh the profits from the more established offices, he said.
"It's a rolling process of continuing to grow the existing businesses that are profitable and starting new ones that in a year or two will become profitable," he said.
ACT plans to open new offices in New York and Paris in February, and is looking to move into Asia in the next two years, Van Eeckhout said.
There certainly appears to be a market opportunity for ACT. The conference call market...