BRUSSELS, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Belgian broadcast equipment specialist EVS on Thursday announced a 50 percent increase in fourth-quarter sales as customers prepared for major sporting events in 2014, notably the World Cup in Brazil and the Winter Olympics.
The group said in spite of the strong growth, the market in southern Europe was impacted by the economic downturn, with the Asia Pacific region showing the most significant improvement in sales and market share.
EVS said it did not expect the situation in the weaker regions to improve in 2014.
Though sports make up more than 50 percent of the group’s order book, the group is trying to diversify its business to include products for the news and entertainment business.
Sports, for which the group provides instant replay and editing technology, is a seasonal business, with even years bringing the Olympics, the soccer World Cup and European championships and odd years thin by comparison.
Core profit rose 207 percent in the fourth quarter to 15.9 million euros ($21.9 million), just a touch below the 16.1 million expected in a Reuters poll of three analysts.
EVS said its order book in mid-Feb amounted to 48.2 million euros, 28.9 percent higher than at the end of 2012, including 9.3 million for the Winter Olympics and the World Cup. A further 9.6 million euros is to be invoiced in 2015 and beyond. ($1 = 0.7271 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)