NXT shares crash 25 per cent after warning of losses

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Shares in NXT, the sound and speech technology group, fell more than 25 per cent yesterday after the company warned its loss would be 8 per cent higher than market expectations. The group, whose shares have more than halved from a high of 165.5p in September 2003, said it would be making a number of disposals and restructurings which will include the closure of its London office.

Shares in NXT, the sound and speech technology group, fell more than 25 per cent yesterday after the company warned its loss would be 8 per cent higher than market expectations. The group, whose shares have more than halved from a high of 165.5p in September 2003, said it would be making a number of disposals and restructurings which will include the closure of its London office.

NXT also announced the disposal of the Cyrus electronics business for £600,000 and the sale of its remaining shares in Symphonix to complete its move out of the manufacturing sector. The group intends to focus instead on licensing technology.

NXT's disappointing share price performance - it was down another 23p to 62p yesterday - reflects frustration with its attempts to find viable commercial applications for military speech-recognition software, in association with QinetiQ, the research arm of the MoD. David Pearson, the chief executive, said: "It was taking too long to reach a conclusion and wasn't going to sustain the core business."

Bridgewell Securities, the City brokers, revised its prediction of losses for NXT in 2004 up to £8.6m from £7.9m.

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