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Test & Measurement

As 4G Boosts Anite, Spirent Suffers

The ups and downs of the test equipment sector were on full view this week as Anite plc and Spirent Communications plc provided financial updates.

Anite, which derives 85 percent of its total revenues from mobile device and network test tools, boosted its fiscal full-year revenues (to April 30) by 8 percent to £132.5 million (US$202 million), increased its operating profit (before one-time costs) by 20 percent to £34.5 million ($52.6 million) and reported a profit before tax of £26.6 million ($40.6 million), up 20 percent from the previous year.

The company had a particularly good year in the Americas, where numerous operators have been rolling out 4G networks and services: Handset testing product revenues grew by 33 percent year-on-year to £38.4 million ($58.5 million).

And the company, which unveiled its results Tuesday, is preparing for the next wave of mobile development. "We continue to support products that address legacy technologies, and are planning for future generations of technology, beyond LTE 4G and LTE-A," Anite noted in its report to investors. (See Anite Chosen for South Korean LTE Device Tests.)

One concern, though, is that the company's order book at the end of its fiscal year was £107.3 million ($163.6 million), down by 6 percent compared with a year earlier. That took the edge off the year's performance and Anite's share price dipped 4 percent Tuesday to 133 pence on the London Stock Exchange and has remained steady since.

Spirent, meanwhile, talked up its growing order book Wednesday morning as it provided a trading update ahead of its detailed half-year report on Aug. 1.

The test systems vendor noted that its "order intake stepped up materially" during the second quarter of 2013, by 10 percent year-on-year to $119 million.

However, orders had slowed during the first quarter, affecting second-quarter revenues, which are expected to fall by almost 22 percent year-on-year to $92.7 million. That would result in revenues for the first half of 2013 of $189.5 million, down 19.7 percent.

Investors reacted accordingly, with Spirent's share price dipping 10.5 pence, or 7.8 percent, to 123.8 pence on the London Stock Exchange Wednesday morning.

The vendor, though, has been preparing for the future, mindful that the start of 2013 could be tricky. (See Spirent Sticks With R&D Strategy.)

-- Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Ray Le Maistre 7/3/2013 | 2:28:35 PM
re: As 4G Boosts Anite, Spirent Suffers Interested to see where Anite goes with test capabilities beyond LTE-Advanced and how Spirent develops its SDN test capabilities...
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