Television

NDS reports marginal dip in revenue

LONDON: News Corp's technology company NDS which claims to be the leading provider of technology solutions for digital pay-TV today announced its unaudited results for the quarter ended 30 June 2003 together with its unaudited full year results for 2003.

Revenues for the quarter ended 30 June were GBP 53.1 million, compared to GBP 65 million in the same quarter of the previous financial year. For the full year, revenues were GBP 237.2 million a slight comedown from last years figure of GBP 240.8 million.

Conditional access revenues were GBP 29.7 million for the quarter, compared to GBP 41.7 million for the same period in the previous year. For the full year however conditional access revenues were up GBP 144.8 million from GBP 125.1 million the previous year. The company has attributed the main reason for the changes to the timing of the smart cards sales to DIRECTV.

The business highlights include:

-- Hong Kong's Galaxy DTH platform selected NDS for new digital end-to-end service

-- NDS was selected as the prime systems integrator to India's Hathway Cable & Datacom

-- The company's joint venture with Rank, Fancy a Flutter launched on UK's Sky digital

-- Bloomberg interactive service is using NDS Value@TV on DTH platform. This was launched in UK during the quarter

-- The company claims to have shipped 26 million smart cards.

NDS' president and CEO Dr Abe Peled had the following remarks to make. "This has been a challenging year for NDS - with a difficult economic environment, and a number of litigation actions. I am proud that our people have remained focussed on business issues without being distracted and they are fully concentrating on supporting our customers and laying the foundation for the future growth of the company.

"Despite the market remaining flat and cautious, NDS has gained considerable momentum with a number of new platform wins in China, India, Russia and Hong Kong over the year. In addition, we have seen Viasat make the decision to change their conditional access system to NDS, and we have established a strong stake in the Australian market with FOXTEL. NDS remains committed to its core values of technology excellence and service to our customers. This commitment has helped our customers to achieve their ongoing successes and continued revenue growth."

The company's CFO Rick Medlock added: "We have had to work hard this year to deliver a solid and profitable financial result in the face of tough economic conditions. We have won new business, which helps the pipeline for the future; we have managed to reduce costs which has helped maintain strong margins, and we have maintained a tight control over working capital helping us to generate significant free cash flow."

The company has stated that although its margins for the year as a whole are lower than in the previous financial year as a result of revenue mix and volume discounts granted to certain customers the underlying cost base was lower than a year ago.

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