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Profit soars at Kudelski

CEO André Kudelski has seen profit triple in 2003 Keystone

The Kudelski digital technology company has announced that its net profit more than tripled in 2003 to SFr33.2 million ($26 million).

Sales were up last year by 2.5 per cent at SFr412.4 million.

Kudelski, which makes software to encrypt broadcasts and smart cards to decode digital television signals, said it had strengthened its position in the digital TV sector.

In a statement from its headquarters near Lausanne, the group said it had won a string of new customers and had re-engineered its operations by strengthening its management team.

The company was hit by a slump in 2002 that pushed digital TV operators to big losses.

New contracts

The new contracts include a deal with German pay-TV operator, Premiere, to supply a pre-paid disposable smart card. However, no financial details of the deals were announced.

Kudelski also said in the statement that the first four million smart cards had been delivered to replace existing cards at its top customer, the United States satellite TV provider EchoStar.

Delivery of the cards, which integrate advanced security attributes and an upgraded set of features, will be completed by the end of the year, the company added.

In its outlook, Kudelski said it expected 2004 to be a “strong” year, with a pipeline that was “stronger than ever”.

It forecast sales of between SFr560 and SFr610 million (up 36-48 per cent compared with 2003) and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of between SFr65 million and SFr85 million.

Shares in Kudelski have risen by about ten per cent over the past week, after more than doubling last year on hopes of a sector recovery.

swissinfo with agencies

Kudeliski made a profit of SFr33.2 million in 2003 on sales of SFr412.4 million.

It has announced a string of new contracts.

The company is expecting 2004 to be a “strong” year.

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