(Adds details, CEO and analyst comment, updates share price)
By Noor Zainab Hussain
May 12 Anite Plc said it expects a
better opening half of the current financial year as the rollout
of 4G networks boosts demand for handset-testing services used
by customers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and
Vodafone Group Plc.
Anite's shares rose more than 10 percent on Monday morning,
making the stock one of the top percentage gainers on the London
The company said its handset-testing business had a "strong"
final quarter of the year, with revenue broadly in line with the
same period a year earlier. This would enable it to meet its
full-year expectations on revenue and adjusted operating profit.
"... We are more encouraged by prospects for Handset Testing
for the first half of the new financial year compared to those
experienced last year," Chief Executive Christopher Humphrey
said in a statement.
Anite, which is considering selling its travel reservation
software business, will report its full-year results on July 2.
The company's financial year ended on April 30.
In a trading update on Monday, the company did not provide
numbers for its revenue and adjusted operating profit forecasts.
Analysts said the apparent recovery in handset testing, a
business beset by contract delays earlier in the year, was
likely to result in improved sales for the second half of the
year and beyond.
The multi-billion-dollar rollout of long-term evolution
(LTE) 4G networks in China has helped to boost revenues for
telecoms testing companies, such as Spirent Communications Plc
Anite said growth in its handset division during the quarter
ended April 30 was helped by "the first significant benefits"
from investments in 4G technology made over the last few years.
"LTE, customers re-engaging and other technology milestones
all helped to deliver the material fourth-quarter uplift
required after the poor first half of 2014," Investec analyst
Julian Yates wrote in a note.
Fleet, Hampshire-based Anite said all three of its main
businesses - handset testing, network testing and the supply of
software to the travel industry - performed well in the fourth
The company said it was still investigating the potential
sale of its travel reservation software business, a plan first
unveiled in February, in line with its strategy to focus on
The travel business accounted for about 15 percent of
Anite's total revenue of 132.5 million pounds ($223.13 million)
The Telegraph reported on Saturday that Anite had entered
exclusive talks to sell the business to LDC, the private equity
arm of Lloyds Banking Group Plc.
The newspaper reported that Anite's travel division could
fetch around 40 million pounds ($67.4 million). (r.reuters.com/myb39v)
Anite and LDC declined to comment on the report when
contacted by Reuters.
Anite's stock was trading up 9.4 percent at 90.75 pence at
at 1137 GMT.
($1 = 0.5938 British Pounds)
(Editing by Robin Paxton)