Online ad specialist DoubleClick yesterday posted a widening second-quarter loss as the downturn in the internet advertising sector continues to bite.

The firm’s net loss increased from $22.1 million in Q2 last year to $37.9m, while revenue tumbled 20% from $128.1m to $101.9m. However, the seven cents pro forma net loss (excluding certain items) was in line with DoubleClick’s own forecasts in April and slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations of eight cents. In addition, the company’s cash reserves remain strong at $812.8m, albeit down on the $831.5m at the end of Q1.

The short-term outlook remains gloomy – “We don't see any indication that ad revenue is going to pick up in the third quarter,” revealed chief executive Kevin Ryan.

“We remain mired in the advertising slowdown that first hit a year ago,” added chief financial officer Stephen Collins, who warned that job cuts would continue. “Our best case scenario is that meaningful growth will result in the middle of 2002.”

News sources: Wall Street Journal; Financial Times