Psion slumps after warning on its profits

 
Steve Dinneen
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MOBILE computer manufacturer Psion tanked more than 17 per cent to 74.25p yesterday after issuing a shock profit warning.

It said it will report a loss of £4m for the first half of the year, with revenues around four per cent lower.

The firm, which brands itself as a seller of “rugged” handheld technology, blamed the decidedly flimsy performance on supply chain issues and a weak pound.

The FTSE All Share company also said launch expenses for its new enterprise personal desktop assistant (PDA) device the EP10 has weighed on its first half figures.

In the same period last year the firm recorded a £700,000 profit. Its profits for the last year hit £5.7m on revenues up 2.6 per cent to £174.5m.

However, Psion, which competes with US-based Intermec, said the shortfall in the first half would be partly mitigated by the new, lower cost EP10 and new roaming technology for the US market.

It also said hardware orders booked in the first half are 16 per cent ahead of last year on a constant currency basis. It added that units shipped in the half are approximately three per cent higher than the same period last year.

The firm says it plans to press ahead with its strategy of building its business in the US, which it says is its largest potential geographic market.

Psion, whose clients include carmakers Volkswagen and BMW has seen its share price gain by nearly a quarter over the past year. It is valued at around £125m.

A company spokesman said: “The Board expects that the Group’s full year performance will be below management’s expectations for the year with a shortfall in the first half of the year partly mitigated by second half improvement.”