Microvitec warns losses will continue

Microvitec, the troubled computer software house, crashed into the red yesterday for the six months to June and warned it would remain loss-making in the second half.

The comments were the latest in a string of profits warnings from the company which has been hit by the strength of sterling and a slump in sales at its largest division.

Operating losses of pounds 2.9m compared with a profit in the first half of 1996 of pounds 1.85m. Only the disposal of two of its subsidiaries during the period created any attributable profit and earnings per share of 0.1p compared with 1.4p a year ago. There will be no interim dividend (0.425p).

James Bailey, chairman, said: "In summary, this has been a very difficult period for the group. However, corrective action has been taken in the Display Division which has been primarily responsible for the poor first- half performance."

Microvitec's computer display business was hit during the period by the decision of financial information group Bloomberg to move out of the hardware market. Sales to Bloomberg were worth pounds 7.2m in the first half of 1996. Their absence contributed to a 47 per cent slump in turnover.

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