Psion plc has suffered a drop of nearly 30 per cent in its 1997 profits, blaming the strength of sterling and the introducion of its Organiser 5 handheld.
The company turned over #142 million in the year, with pre-tax profits of #11.43 million, down from the previous year?s profit of #16.04 million on turnover of #124.18 million.
Psion?s chairman, David Potter, described 1997 as a year of change for both his company and the IT industry generally. While he said Psion performed weakly in the first half of the year, second half performance was ?much stronger?.
He said that Psion would continue to invest and plan for the longer term with confidence. ?With the continuing rapid change in palmtop markets, the Board remains cautious in the immediate outlook,? he said.
The four different divisions showed varying results, said Potter. Psion Dacom, the modem wing of the company, is now Europe?s chief supplier of PC card products, he claimed. That followed a US launch and the signing of a worldwide deal with Dell to bundle its Gold Card product.
Psion?s balance sheet shows that its net assets were #52.12 million, with cash balances at year end standing at #22.4 million, compared to #26.47 million the year before. But Psion invested #10.37 million in a manufacturing unit in Oxfordshire and built three additional surface mount assembly lines at its three factories.
Psion announced that it was appointing former IBM chief Barrie Morgans to its board as a non-executive director. He will replace Sir Ian Morrow, with Psion for 12 years as a non-executive director.
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