Psion Plc, the London-based palmtop computer maker and software developer, has produced a predictably dismal set of financial results as it shares the burden of building up the Symbian joint venture and struggles to avert the decline in sales of its palmtops and industry products. In the six months through June 30, the company reported […]
Psion Plc, the London-based palmtop computer maker and software developer, has produced a predictably dismal set of financial results as it shares the burden of building up the Symbian joint venture and struggles to avert the decline in sales of its palmtops and industry products.
In the six months through June 30, the company reported a net profit of just 414,000 pounds ($666,540), down from a profit of 2.7m pounds ($4.3m) on revenue down 11.8% to 64.1m pounds ($103.2m). Net income benefited from a tax credit and, at the pre-tax level, the company made a profit of only 57,000 pounds ($91,770), down from 4.1m pounds ($6.6m). A strong second-half recovery is expected with the consensus of brokers’ estimates predicting pre-tax profit of 4.9m pounds ($7.8m) for the year.
Its shares fell only 2.3% to 880 pence because of the rewards that could lie ahead should Symbian’s EPOC operating system become dominant in the forthcoming wave of wireless information devices. However, Symbian is not expected to move into monthly profit until near the end of 2001.
Microsoft has branded Symbian a threat and is using its huge muscle to try and lure potential users of EPOC into the Windows CE camp. Psion chief executive David Levin appears unworried by the competition. Indeed, he almost held out the hand of friendship to Bill Gates. Microsoft is an interesting company and we’d be delighted to achieve some sort of cooperation with them if that were the right thing. But at this point I wouldn’t anticipate it, he said.
Sales of Psion’s palmtops fell 34% to 24.5m pounds ($40.8m), which the company blames on weak demand for Series 5 machines in anticipation of the introduction of the Series 5mx at the end of June. The series 7 computer was launched earlier this month and a major new palmtop product will ship towards the end of the third quarter, it says.
The industrial side, now branded Psion Enterprise Computing, had virtually flat sales of 10.8m pounds ($17.3m) in the first half, but has hopes for the second half following the launch of netBook, a sub-notebook aimed at the corporate market offering mobile workers access to the internet and company intranets.
The Psion Dacom PC card modem business had been hard hit by the shift to embedded modems but overheads have been cut and first-half sales rose 17% to 28.9m pounds ($46.5m) with Ethernet cards, GSM and ISDN products showing solid growth.