Filtronic hit by slow 4G demand

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​MOBILE phone technology firm Filtronic ​said slow take-up of 4G in Europe has hit its results as the economic downturn has delayed demand for the new high speed phone technology​.

​​The Leeds-based group said ​​that there is strong demand for 4G in America and Asia, but Europe has been slower to adapt.

​Filtronic’s chief executive Alan Needle said: “In Europe, 4G hasn’t been taken up as much as it was forecast to do. We’re going through a period of austerity.

“There is demand there. We are absolutely confident it will be taken up.”

As a result the group is targeting original equipment manufacturer​s (OEMs), such as Nokia, Lucent and Alcatel, and getting involved with their products.

“The underlying push is to get design wins with OEMs. That will give us greater geographic coverage,” said Mr Needle.

He was speaking yesterday as the group announced a full year pre-tax loss of £3.7m for the year to May 31 after investing in new products that will help filter out interference with 4G services.

This compares with a profit of £200,000 last year.

Revenue fell from £40m to £33m.

The company said it has strong opportunities in the pipeline and whilst the timing and volume of new contracts remains uncertain, it expects ​its w​ireless division to return to growth​.

It said​ it is confident about its prospects following ​an ​upturn in its ​b​roadband division. ​

​Analyst Adam Lawson, at Panmure Gordon, said: ​“Headline numbers were in line with our expectations and reflected an encouraging performance from broadband, offset by reduced revenue and profits from the wireless business following a reduction in operator activity.

“Management remains confident that increasing OEM activity and recent design wins in both businesses will convert into significant revenues in the second half of 2015 and beyond.

“As ever, deliverability depends on contract timing and volumes resulting from these design wins.”

Filtronic said it wouldn’t be paying a dividend for 2014.

The group made a loss per share of 2.9p, down from earnings per share of 0.29p last year.