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WORLD ACCESS GROWS NET INCOME

ATLANTA-World Access Inc. reported a 478 percent increase in net income in 1996 compared to 1995 figures.

World Access develops, manufactures and markets wireless and wireline switching, transmission and access products.

Total sales for 1996 were $51 million compared to $30.1 million in 1995, reflecting an increase of 69.2 percent. The company’s net income for 1996 was $.46 per share compared to $.12 per share for 1995, despite a 5.3 million increase in weighted average shares outstanding and the recording of income tax expense during 1996.

Steven Odom, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said acquisitions accounted for about 57 percent of the company’s $20.9 million increase in total sales during 1996; internal growth was about 43 percent of the increase, he said.

Since 1995, the company has acquired three businesses to broaden its product line and enhance product development. The acquisition taking World Access into wireless was Westec Communications, a manufacturer, installer and repair agent for wireless cable television and telecommunication products.

The company said it executed two significant longterm technology license agreements that give it the right to engineer, manufacture, market and sell a number of complementary Code Division Multiple Access-based wireless communications products.

World Access recently introduced a fixed wireless local loop system that is point-to-multipoint, which allows two-way voice and data using CDMA technology.

The initial target market for the product is Latin America and the Caribbean Basin.

Odom said, “In October, World Access received a net $25.3 million in new capital from a secondary public offering of its common stock underwritten by The Robinson-Humphrey Co. Inc., Wheat First Butcher Singer and Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp. The first $3.9 million of this money was used to pay off all of the company’s outstanding bank debt. As of Dec. 31, the company said it has about $22.5 million in cash and a new $10 million revolving line of credit available to support its future internal and external growth initiatives.

World Access said it is now well positioned financially and operationally to pursue additional business opportunities in the worldwide telecom marketplace.

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