Pace Reports 50% Increase in Profits

LONDON -- Pace  (LSE: PIC  ) , a leading global developer of PayTV and broadband technologies and products, revealed preliminary full-year results that were full of good news today.

The company reported that revenue had risen 4.1%, to $2,403 million, earnings (before deduction of interest, tax and amortization) were up almost 12%, at $158 million, and profit after tax was up 50.5%, at $58.4 million, perhaps reflecting the company's new focus on improving operating efficiency.

Basic earnings per share rose 47% to $0.194, and the board proposed a final dividend of $0.0306 per share, bringing the full-year dividend to $0.045 per share, up 20% on 2011.

The company reported that it remains the sole supplier to the largest cable, satellite, and telecoms operators in North America, and remains confident about the long-term strength of the market for its products in that region.

Pace is also now providing products to eight of the 10 largest pay-TV providers in Latin America, and anticipates strong revenue and profitability from key markets and customers in the region in the future.

Europe, however, presents more of a challenge, with a far more fragmented territory, although Pace expects significant growth in the fast developing "media server" segment of the market, and has already been awarded contracts from leading operators in Belgium and Norway.

Pace blamed disruption to its supply of hard disks in the first half of 2012 for a decrease in revenue from its "rest of the world" businesses -- which cover highly diverse markets from its traditionally strong Australasian region, to the Middle East, Africam and India -- but anticipates "significant growth opportunities" with the continued digitization and uptake of PayTV services in "greenfield" markets.

Mike Pulli, chief executive officer, commented:

I am pleased to report that Pace has performed impressively in 2012, by delivering increased operating profits through both top-line growth and operational efficiency, with a particularly strong second half of the year. We have made good headway on executing our strategy and Pace is becoming a more profitable, cash generative company.

We have momentum, a sustainable platform to build from, and we expect to make further progress in 2013 and beyond.

Pace has performed very impressively since a new executive management team was put in place in Q1 of 2012 -- the company's share price is 20% up so far this year, and a remarkable 180% up on this time last year.

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