Contract delays pile pressure on Spirent

INVESTORS in Spirent suffered further woe yesterday as the telecoms network tester revealed a worse-than-expected fall in sales.

Spirent, whose technology is used to check mobile and broadband infrastructure, said sales in the first three months of 2013 had fallen by 17.5 per cent year-on-year, as delays to the launch of 4G networks hit.

The announcement sent shares tumbling by more than 10 per cent yesterday, although they recovered to finish just 2.8 per cent down as shareholders’ fears were tempered. Canaccord Genuity urged investors to hold on to the stock, pointing to anticipated growth later in the year, while Spirent said it expects revenues to hold steady in the next quarter.

Spirent’s shares have fallen from a high of around 170p last September to close at 118.5p yesterday, as concerns have mounted. The company is expected to receive a boost in the next few months from the rollout of 4G networks around the world, including in the UK.