Electronic commerce provider iMerchants reported a 31.4 per cent drop in net income to HK$531,000 for the quarter to December 31, as interest income continued to keep the company in the black. Stripping out other revenue of HK$4.84 million, the majority of which was interest income, the company recorded a loss of HK$2.96 million on core business activities. Part of the loss was attributed to stakes worth HK$1.34 million in associate companies. Turnover for the third quarter of last year was HK$14.01 million, marginally higher than the previous quarter's HK$13.55 million. Net profit for the nine months to December 31 was HK$2.05 million, compared with a loss of HK$4.15 million in the same period in 1999. The result included HK$14.55 million of interest revenue mainly from the HK$327 million raised in its listing last year. Subsidiary Asia Financial Network is planning to launch an online bill payment service for Jetco customers in the first quarter this year.