Psion interim profits suffer from Series 5 success

Psion interim profits suffer from Series 5 success
Simon Parry
Interim profits at Psion have been halved as the transition to the new Series 5 handheld computer slashes sales of the older Series 3 and export sales suffer from sterling’s strength.
Psion chairman David Potter warned yesterday that profits are unlikely to be at 1996 levels for the full year as the company reported interim operating profits at ?3.56m, down from ?7.75m, although sales rose by 20 per cent. Psion said sales of the Series 3 were running at half the rate of last year even after a 35 per cent price cut as the market waited for the 32-bit Series 5.
Potter also said production of the Series 5 would be nearly doubled over the next month from 25,000 machines currently to 40,000 by November. ‘This product is walking off the shelves,’ he added.
Pre-tax profits were down by a third to ?4.05m, as the 1996 figure included the ?1.52m cost of Psion’s failed bid for Amstrad. The figures also suffered by about ?3m by the strength of sterling as overseas sales exceeded those in the UK for the first time. However, the future looked assured, said Potter, with Psion signing its first licensing deals for its EPOC32 operating system software.

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