Anite trading in line but upgrades unlikely, says analyst - UPDATE

Software group Anite saw shares fall on Friday morning despite saying that revenues and profits have been in line with expectations in the first half.

Software group Anite saw shares fall on Friday morning despite saying that revenues and profits have been in line with expectations in the first half.

The group, which provides software solution to wireless and leisure travel industries, say that trading conditions in the six months to October 31st have been "encouraging", with revenue and adjusted operating profits ahead of last year.

However, Anite did highlight that it was affected by a struggling euro during the period: translation of underlying euro-denominated results in Network Testing back into sterling was disrupted by a 9% weakening in the single currency compared with last year.

Nevertheless, in underlying constant currency terms, Network Testing saw profits rise on flat revenues.

In Handset Testing, year-on-year revenue and profit growth was "healthy" and in the double-digit range in spite of exceptionally strong comparatives last year. Meanwhile, Travel saw an "encouraging, albeit small" improvement in trading.

"The group has had a good first half," said Chief Executive Officer Christopher Humphery.

"Reflecting their strong market positions, each of our businesses is making good progress despite the macro-economic climate.We enter the second half encouraged by the opportunities we see in our pipeline and confident in our ability to deliver sustainable growth."

The firm said that while full-year results are second-half weighted and its Wireless businesses continue to operate with short sales pipeline visibility, trends in the first half give it confidence to meet expectations this year.

Net cash at the end of October was more or less flat compared with the start of the year at £16.8m, up from £12.6m last October.

Investec doesn't see step up in consensus forecasts

Analyst James Goodman from Investec said that the trading update was positive and the growth in Handset Testing was a good result given "the very tough 1Q12 comparative". However, it lacks a material upgrade at this stage, he said.

Whilst the broker is likely to raised its full-year profit forecast by around 5%, Goodman said that there is "unlikely to be a major step up in consensus at this stage".

"The outlook is positive and we consider a more material upgrade is quite likely at the H1 results. We keep our 'buy' [rating] ahead of this."

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