Pace profits from rise of HD

Steve Dinneen
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SET-TOP box maker Pace reported an astonishing 168 per cent rise in profit for 2009 yesterday as demand for high definition TV soared.

The results make it the second biggest seller of the boxes worldwide, behind only Motorola, overtaking France’s Thomson. And chief executive Neil Gaydon says the World Cup could help drive sales even further as fans across the world prepare to cheer on their national team in HD.

He said the company expected revenue to grow in the single mid-digits in 2010 and maintained the company’s mid-term operating margin target at eight per cent, up from 6.7 per cent in 2009, although he said the eight per cent target would not be reached this year.

Gaydon said: “The spend on digital home entertainment is growing rapidly and we are ahead of the market in identifying and investing in new technologies to take advantage.

“In 2010, higher definition will become more mainstream – don’t forget today penetration is only about six per cent globally.”

Pace also said yesterday it had agreed to buy French cable and internet firm Bewan Systems for up to €12.5m (£11.3m), to boost its technological capability to combine Internet services with cable television.