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CentralNic reports profitable first half

Kevin Murphy, September 25, 2013, Domain Registries

CentralNic today issued its first financial statements since floating on London’s Alternative Investment Market earlier this month.

The company is profitable, reporting profit before tax for the first half of 2013 that almost doubled to $636,000 on revenue that was up 16% at £1,735 million ($2.7 million).

Revenue was down substantially and profit more or less flat sequentially, however. In the second half of 2012, the company took profits of £593,000 on revenue of £2.9 million ($4.6 million).

Seasonality? One-time fees from its new gTLD applicant clients? CentralNic didn’t say.

The H12013 results do not include any revenue from its deal with Go Daddy, which started selling .la domains in July, but it did include revenue from partnerships with two Chinese registrars.

Chairman John Swingewood said in a statement to the market:

The Company is undergoing sustained growth resulting from increased demand for our domain names, establishing new retail channels and securing new inventory. What is more impressive is that these results are yet to include revenues from sales of our pipeline of new Top-Level Domains, which include .college, .bar, .wiki and .xyz, for which the first launch activities are due to start at the end of the year.

The company, which is signed up to provide back-end registry services for 14 uncontested and 39 contested new gTLDs, raised £5 million in its IPO on September 3.

CentralNIC says .la business as usual

Kevin Murphy, April 12, 2011, Domain Registries

CentralNIC, which manages .la as a “city top-level domain” for Los Angeles, says recent moves to “reclaim” the domain for Laos will not affect its offerings.

As I blogged Friday, Laos has recruited Vietnamese experts to help LANIC, the delegated sponsor of .la, bring the registry back to the nation.

According to a press release from Vietnamese registrar Dot VN, LANIC wants to “retrieve and manage the Laotian country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) .LA”.

But UK-based CentralNIC, which currently manages the registry, seems to disagree with the extent of the transition. A company spokesperson provided this statement:

We saw this [Dot VN] press release and understand it relates to work in the Lao PDR with LANIC assisting them on their Lao IDN and the development of a server in Laos for the release of the second level domain extensions, such as .com.la, .edu.la, .gov.la – which are reserved specifically by LANIC to serve the Lao people.

LA Registry works under a mandate from LANIC to develop the .LA address outside the Lao PDR and will continue to do so.

The Dot VN press release does not refer to Laotian IDNs or third-level domains. Nor does any coverage I’ve found elsewhere. Dot VN did not respond to a request for comment.

According to this presentation (pdf), LANIC was planning “to move the ccTLD dot la primary server and registry data base to Lao PDR” as recently as last June.

Laos to reclaim .la from Los Angeles?

An effort has kicked off in the south-east Asian nation of Laos to “reclaim and relaunch” the .la top-level domain, which is currently being marketed to businesses in Los Angeles.

According to a press release from Dot VN, the “exclusive registrar” for Vietnam’s .vn ccTLD, the two governments came to an agreement to move .la late last month. Dot VN said:

On March 23, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hung – Deputy Minister of Information and Communications of Vietnam and Mr. Padaphet Sayakhot – Deputy of Laos National Posts and Telecommunications Management Agency signed a memorandum for Vietnam to support Laos to retrieve and manage the Laotian country code Top Level Domain (“ccTLD”) “.LA”.

The announcement talks about a transition plan under which VNNIC, the .vn registry, will temporarily take over the management of .la domain names on behalf of LANIC, the nominal .la registry.

Under the current plan Vietnam will support LANIC in the management and operation of the ccTLD “.LA” by hosting the registry platform in Hanoi while concurrently training LANIC staff, with the eventual goal of turning over complete management of “.LA” to LANIC by 2012.

Today, .la domains are sold from www.la as “the internet address for Los Angeles” and “the first city top-level domain”, equivalent to possible future TLDs such as .paris and .rome.

That site, as well as the the name servers for .la, are currently operated by CentralNIC, the London-based registry services provider, under an agreement with a company called LA Registry Pte Ltd.

But according to IANA records, LANIC has been the designated .la sponsoring organization, as well as its technical and administrative contact, since 2002.

That being the case, there will presumably be no requirement for a lengthy IANA redelegation request if any transition is to take place.

Dot VN’s statement does not mention CentralNIC or existing registrants at all. I’ve been unable to obtain clarification from either company so far, but will provide a follow-up when I do.

LANIC’s web site, incidentally, is currently a parked page.

Local news coverage from the region, in Vietnamese, can be found here and here.

Iron Mountain gets into bed with CRS

Iron Mountain and Central Registry Solutions have made a deal to referrer prospective new gTLD applicants to each other’s services.

The companies said that Iron Mountain will refer wannabe registries to CRS for registry services and CRS will refer them to Iron Mountain for data escrow services.

It strikes me that the deal is probably better news for Iron Mountain, given that CRS is actively engaged in seeking out new TLD applicants to partner with whereas Iron Mountain, presumably, is not.

Iron Mountain already does a lot of work with registries and registrars that have to escrow their Whois information under the terms of their ICANN contracts.

Some of these contracts specify the company as the only escrow agent allowed, whereas the current Draft Applicant Guidebook for new gTLD applicants is less prescriptive.

CRS is a partnership of Network Solutions and CentralNIC, manager of the .la ccTLD and a handful of geographical second-level domains such as uk.com and us.com.