Gemplus shares tumble over weak sales

25th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 25 (AFP) - Shares of Gemplus, the world's largest smartcard maker, dropped sharply Monday after poor sales were announced for the first quarter of 2005, despite healthy profits for the same period.

PARIS, April 25 (AFP) - Shares of Gemplus, the world's largest smartcard maker, dropped sharply Monday after poor sales were announced for the first quarter of 2005, despite healthy profits for the same period.   

Sales were down 2.1 percent to EUR 193.1 million (USD 250.3 million) for the first three months of the year, the French company said Monday.  

The sales performance was sharply below expectations, sparking investors to sell Gemplus shares. The stock plunged 6.77 percent to EUR 1.79 in morning Paris trading.  

"These (sales) figures are lower than the expected rise of 7.6 percent to EUR 212 million," brokerage Aurel Leven said in a note to its clients.  

Gemplus's chief executive Alex Mandl told AFP by telephone: "The analysts knew it would be difficult to reproduce in the first quarter, traditionally the weakest of the year, the exceptional sales of the first quarter last year."  

The company said Monday its net profit was EUR 7.2 million compared with EUR 0.3 million in the same period last year.  

Gemplus also announced it had paid EUR 30 million plus 19 million of their shares for the full acquisition of the Finnish company Setec, which produces electronic passports and security printing technologies.  

Setec is part of the consortium that was recently awarded the Singaporean e-passport contract in cooperation with Gemplus.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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