Technical problems hit Psion's margins

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The Independent Online

Psion shares fell more than 5 per cent yesterday on the back of a profits warning after admitting technical hitches with its core Teklogix business.

Earlier this year Psion sold its stake in Symbian, the mobile phone operating system business, to focus on Teklogix, which makes rugged mobile computing devices for businesses such as ports, warehouses and the logistics industry.

Although Psion has £98m in cash thanks to the Symbian stake sale, its chosen core business is suffering a serious hiccup. Psion said there had been "a number of technical challenges" in the introduction of new products, with some delays in shipments. There would be short-term margin pressure as a result. "Accordingly the board now expects that the result for the current year from Psion Teklogix is likely to be somewhat lower than previously expected," Psion said in a statement.

Analysts had been expecting second half profit margins of about 7.5 per cent on sales of about £130m. Margins are now forecast to be flat.

In September Psion said it would be replacing Norbert Dawalibi as president of Teklogix. Alistair Crawford, the chief executive of Psion, will now be focusing on Teklogix full time, the company said, although Mr Crawford will also be evaluating acquisition targets.