UPDATE 1-Oxford Instruments sees full-year performance in line with prior year

Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:33am EDT

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(Adds analysts' comments, share move, details)

By Noor Zainab Hussain

April 10 (Reuters) - Technology tools maker Oxford Instruments Plc said it expects full-year performance to be similar to that of the previous year as a strong pound offset gains from the company's acquisition of imaging specialist Andor Technology.

Oxford Instruments shares fell as much as 3.6 percent on the London Stock Exchange, making them the top percentage loser on the FTSE-250 Midcap Index on Thursday morning.

Some analysts feared that a strengthening pound would continue to hurt the company, which gets only 9 percent revenue from the UK.

"The only real thing to grab hold of in the statement is that forex comment," Peel Hunt analyst Henry Carver told Reuters.

"Some analysts did not have forex headwinds for 2015 accounted in their numbers. This maybe guiding down their numbers."

Carver had estimated in a note last week a 2 million pound ($3.35 million) hit to the company's revenue for the year ended March 31 due to a stronger pound.

The analyst has also predicted a 12 million pounds setback for the company in its current financial year.

Some other analysts have also said the stock may face pressure after rising more than 10 percent in the two weeks to Wednesday's close.

The pound hit a five-year high against a host of currencies including the dollar in mid-February on expectations that the Bank of England would be the first major central bank to raise interest rates.

The pound appreciated 9.45 percent against the dollar in the year through March 2014.

Oxford, which makes CT and MRI maintenance systems and parts, cryogenic systems and nanotechnology tools, gets about 25 percent of its revenue from North America.

The company reported an adjusted pretax profit of 48.2 million pounds on revenue of 350.8 million pounds in the year to March 2013.

Analysts on average expected a pretax profit of 47.15 million pounds ($78.97 million) for the year ending March 31, 2014, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Oxford, which bought AIM-listed Andor Technology in December for about 175 million pounds, said trading was strong in the last quarter.

Shares in the company were down 1.7 percent at 1405 pence at 0925 GMT. ($1 = 0.5971 British Pounds) (Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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