United News & Media yesterday announced a scaling back of investment in web activities over the coming year.

Chief executive Lord Hollick said that planned expenditure in the business and online consumer sectors in 2001 would be halved from £120 million to £60m.

The move is in line with United’s strategic shift from the consumer market towards “the more attractive business-to-business opportunities,” as exemplified by its recent disposal of Express Newspapers and its ITV assets to Granada Media.

United also announced that a share buyback programme would go ahead after yearly results are published and that talks are underway to sell its stake in ISP LineOne.

News source: The Times (London)