August 28, 2014 / 5:50 AM / 3 years ago

Gemalto H1 net profit rises 8.4 pct, confirms forecasts

PARIS, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Digital security firm Gemalto said first-half net profit rose 8.4 percent to 95.4 million euros ($126.1 million) thanks to a strong performance in mobile financial services and payment cards.

The company, which makes smart chips for mobile phones, bank cards and biometric passports, said lower revenue in “eGovernment documents” weighed on the first half, where total sales were flat.

But the group reconfirmed the profit forecasts for the years ahead that it made earlier in August along with the announcement of a U.S. acquisition.

Gemalto said on Aug. 8 it would buy U.S.-based data protection specialist SafeNet for $890 million in a move set to boost its earnings and reach.

The company confirmed on Thursday that it now expects double-digit profit growth in 2014 excluding the impact of the acquisition.

It also confirmed that the deal should allow it to raise its 2017 target for profit from operations of 600 million euros by 10 percent.

“We extended our commercial momentum as revenue growth accelerated in the Mobile segment and new contracts were signed in the Payment & Identity segment that will generate significant revenue,” Chief Executive Olivier Piou said.

He added that recent launch and expansion efforts “all support our expectation for an accelerated revenue growth in the second part of the year”. (1 US dollar = 0.7567 euro) (Reporting by Andrew Callus; Editing by James Regan)

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