ICL's government contract hiccup impacted both its and parent company Fujitsu's latest financial performances. Toshiba also posted a loss, while Intuit managed to shine thanks to tax return season.
ICL: The UK government's decision this week to axe ICL's flagship payment card project forced the company into the red for its latest financial year.
ICL reported a pre tax profit of £64.5 million for the 12 months ending 31 March, but an exceptional charge including £180 million written off investment in the payment card element of the government's £1 billion Pathway project turned the profit into a loss of £129 million.
The government told ICL it had decided to remove the magnetic stripe payment card element from Pathway - a long running scheme to modernise the UK's 19,000 post offices. The government said magnetic stripe cards had become outdated since the project's inception.
ICL reported turnover of £2.7 billion for the year, up seven per cent from £2.5 billion a year earlier.
Fujitsu: ICL's stumble on the Pathway project rubbed off on parent company Fujitsu, costing it dear during its last financial year.
For the full year ended 31 March 1999, Fujitsu reported a loss of 13.6 billion yen ($112 million) compared with net profit of 5.5 billion yen in 1997.
The company said that in addition to ICL's contract loss, the shutting of its Durham, England semiconductor plant and the restructuring of its other semiconductor businesses resulted in charges of 43.7 billion yen.
Toshiba: Continuing economic depression in Asia and a weak chip market resulted in a 1998 net loss for Toshiba.
For the twelve months to 31 March 1999, the company posted a net loss of 13.8 billion yen ($115 million), its first loss since 1975.
Turnover was down three per cent to 5.3 billion yen from 5.4 billion yen a year earlier.
Toshiba said that the fall in profit was due to problems in its electronic devices and materials division, which includes LCDs, semiconductors and batteries.
The company said that in addition to problems in the chip market, weak prices for LCD displays caused the fall in profit.
However, Toshiba's information and communications division, which includes personal computers, made operating profits of 94.7 billion yen, more than all the other divisions combined.
Intuit: The combination of increased sales in tax preparation software, small business payroll services and ecommerce services has helped Intuit post strong third quarter results.
Net profit for the third quarter ending 30 April was $72.6 million, or $1.12 per share, compared with a loss of $2.2 million or five cents a share in the same period a year earlier.
Revenue for the quarter, which includes income tax return season, was $239.7 million, an increase of 69 per cent on the same quarter a year ago. Excluding the revenue from professional tax software by its Lacerte subsidiary, which wasn't included in last year's results, Intuit posted a 48 per cent increase compared to the same quarter a year ago.
The company said revenue from its 'efinance' solutions accounted for 20 per cent of Intuit's total revenue in the third quarter, which is more than two and a half times the revenue for the same quarter last year.
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