LED firm seeks growth from greener traffic lights

LONDON Wed Mar 3, 2010 6:39am EST

LONDON (Reuters) - British lighting technology firm Dialight is hoping a switch to low-carbon LED traffic lights across Europe and on cellphone masts will help it to drive revenues over the next few years.

"There's sufficiently strong growth drivers within the signals and illumination business for us to expect double-digit growth," Chief Executive Roy Burton told Reuters after the group reported full-year results slightly ahead of expectations on Wednesday.

"We've opened the current year nicely," he said. "Our lighting business finished the year strongly and is continuing to perform well and our components business is continuing its recovery into the first couple of months of this year."

Newmarket-based Dialight supplies LED technology that original equipment manufacturers such as Siemens use to make traffic lights.

While almost 70 percent of all traffic lights in the U.S. have been converted to more energy efficient LEDs, adoption in the European market is currently in the low teens, Burton said.

Dialight is also focusing on the market for air traffic obstruction lighting, where lights are used on tall buildings and structures such as radio masts to warn pilots of their presence.

"We expect growth to continue on the back of the two major contracts won last year for the US cellphone tower market and further adoption from other operators," Burton said.

The firm also saw growth in the use of LED lights on wind turbines in the U.S. last year.

For 2009, the firm reported operating profit of 5.5 million pounds ($8.19 million), up slightly from 5.3 million last year, and maintained revenues at 77 million pounds.

Broker Canaccord Adams on Wednesday upgraded its 2010 operating profit forecast for the firm to 9 million pounds and extended its forecasts to 2011, when it estimates profit of 12 million.

(Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

($1=.6713 Pound)

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