Tadpole swims into black

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The Independent Online
TADPOLE Technology has moved into profit, according to its first set of annual results since joining the stock market in December.

The Cambridge-based company, which designs and makes computer boards and systems, made pounds 749,000 before tax in the year to 30 September, against a loss of pounds 1.7m last time.

But the shares lost 10p to close at 279p as the company announced it intended to tap shareholders for cash next year to fund further growth.

Richard King, chairman, said the main driver of Tadpole's dramatic turnaround was the success of its Sparcbook portable workstations. That business grew by 400 per cent and provided 64 per cent of Tadpole's revenues of pounds 22.9m ( pounds 12.5m).

But Mr King tempered optimism about the company's prospects by warning that the timing of any growth and resulting profits was difficult to forecast.

Hopes had been raised particularly by Tadpole's winning of a contract to design a workstation for IBM. Mr King said production quantities of the product should be delivered in this financial year.

He reaffirmed the company's plans to market its shares in the US through an American depositary receipt listing on New York's Nasdaq exchange, and said manufacturing at Tadpole's plant in Austin, Texas, would recommence, following the lifting of tariffs on some of its products.

He added that the company's development division was working on an increasing number of new products. Earnings per share were 3.5p, against a loss of 16.5p last time. There is no dividend.