Flat earnings and flagging palmtop sales should have sent Psion?s share price tumbling, but the company rallied with a 9.2 per cent jump after reporting its half year results.
Handheld sales dipped by over 11 per cent to #37 million, but pre-tax profits sneaked up 1.5 per cent to #4.1 million on #74.3 million turnover, a 15 per cent increase. Psion convinced analysts that a reshaped portfolio of products and relationships will bring in healthy revenue streams.
Psion is spring cleaning its product family, ditching the entry level Sienna organiser, phasing out the Series 3 and 3A models and replacing them with the cheaper and more powerful Series MX (see separate story). At the top end, the Series 5 family is being extended later this year with a sexy, slimline version.
There were some high points during the six months, including the Symbian joint venture with Nokia and Ericsson. The triumvirate are promoting Psion?s Epoc operating system as a global standard in mobile communications. Motorola looks set to join, while IBM and Sun Microsystems are said to be very interested.
Chairman David Potter acknowledged that Psion has had ?a difficult period of transition, but... is well-positioned for long term growth.? In the second half he expects ?strong growth in mobile networks and industrial divisions, while the palmtop business consolidates its position.?
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