Securicor Group Plc turned in solid mid-year results with pre-tax profits up 28.5% to ú47.6m and turnover up 25.5% to ú473.3m, but the cloud that hangs over its ambitions for its stake in mobile telephone operator, Cellnet Mobile Communications Ltd, depressed the market’s reaction. The bulk of its profits, ú33.0m, came from Cellnet. The share […]
Securicor Group Plc turned in solid mid-year results with pre-tax profits up 28.5% to ú47.6m and turnover up 25.5% to ú473.3m, but the cloud that hangs over its ambitions for its stake in mobile telephone operator, Cellnet Mobile Communications Ltd, depressed the market’s reaction. The bulk of its profits, ú33.0m, came from Cellnet. The share price fell five pence yesterday morning to #16.13, not as big a drop as when Securicor announced earlier this month that it wanted to sell its 40% stake in Cellnet to the other partner in the venture, British Telecommmunications Plc and couldn’t because the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry had slapped a ban on the sale (CI No 2,677). Then the shares fell 42 pence on fears it would not be able to sell the stake to a third party for as much as it could to British Telecom. The mobile phone outfit continued to boost the group’s profits, which at ú33.0m were up 22.7% from last year’s interim figures. Its user base grew to 1.7m, a rise of 70.2%. The group, however, gave no further details on the future of its stake in Cellnet, other than to say it was considering all options. Its communications services division, which includes Cellnet’s retailing company, Securicor Cellular Services, reported increased business: turnover rose 82.8% to ú112.4m and the division managed to reduce its losses to ú26,000 from ú1.5m last time. Its US supplier of wireline telecommunications systems, Telesciences Co Systems Inc, Mooretown, New Jersey, which it bought last July, made good progress. Also in the US, the division has acquired a strategic stake in its partner E F Johnson, to concentrate on the narrowband radio communications market. Last month, Securicor 3net Ltd bought a 51% stake in ISDN specialist Networks Dynamics, Christchurch, New Zealand (CI No 2,699). But the group warned not to expect these acquisitions to contribute to profits until next financial year. Also part of the communications division, Securicor Datatrak reported a busy six months with overseas contracts for networks in Argentina and The N etherlands, and an increasing number of subscribers to its network in the UK. It recently won the fifth UK licence to develop a two-way data system. The group’s other businesses, security services, parcel delivery and business services, all performed better in this half than last time.