Excite, one of Europe's most visited ISPs, has announced the closure of its French, German and Spanish websites but promises the UK site will remain up and running.

In the aftermath of poor advertising campaigns, Excite announced all its continental European sites would close, with Austria, Holland and Sweden expected to shut by the end of the month.

"While it is disappointing that the market conditions make it necessary to discontinue certain European businesses, it is important for us to continue to focus more closely on our strengths," said Patti Hart, head of Excite@Home. The only sites not for the chop are the Italian and UK portals.

"We have a strong relationship with BT and our site here is continuing to grow," said an Excite spokesperson.

Nearly half of Excite UK is owned by BT. In Italy Excite is involved in a joint venture with telco group Tiscali.

Excite@Home, Excite's parent company based in the US, blamed the closures on "weakened internet advertising environment and its negative effect on the timeframe for ultimate profitability".

This isn't good news for Excite, which already faces a tough battle against competitors such as MSN and AOL.