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Shares hit as Blackburn firm Promethean predicts operating loss
5:09pm Sunday 1st July 2012 in News
SHARES in East Lancashire firm Promethean plunged almost 40 per cent after it announced it expects to post an operating loss for the first half of its financial year.
The Blackburn-based supplier of education technology said the seasonal trend in the US of high levels of order activity at the end of June failed to materialise at the levels anticipated.
Revenues for the first half of the year were now expected to be in the range of £80m to £85m and, with gross margins lower than last year, it is anticipated that the group will post a high single digit operating loss for the first half of the year.
In April Promethean stated that it expected market conditions to remain challenging, particularly in the US and Europe, and 2012 revenues to be weighted more heavily to the second half of the year than in 2011.
In a trading update, it said the key buying season from June to September in the US would better and that it remained cautious in its outlook.
Now in a statement the company said: "The third quarter remains a key trading period. However, Promethean considers that market conditions will remain very challenging, and the Board now believes that the results for the year will be significantly below previous expectations. Promethean will therefore continue to align its cost base to these tougher market conditions and this will lead to an exceptional charge in 2012."
The firm, led by chief executive Jean-Yves Charlier, supplies interactive whiteboards and learning software to schools. The US is its largest market, accounting for more than 60 per cent of sales.
The share price fell 39.57 per cent to 21p last Friday.