18 Aug 11. Hewlett-Packard Co., the world’s biggest computer maker, is expected to announce a spinoff of its PC business and is close to a $10bn deal to acquire U.K. software firm Autonomy Corp., said people familiar with the matter. H-P may announce its plans as early as Thursday, the people said. The company is expected to report its latest quarterly earnings after the U.S. market closes. H-P spokesman Michael Thacker declined to comment. The technology giant has been under investor pressure because of what is seen as its underperforming stock price and there have been calls to explore options for its low-margin PC business.
In the quarter ended Jan. 31, H-P’s PC business had an operating profit of $672m on revenue of $10.45bn. The unit accounted for about a third of the company’s quarterly revenue. (Source: WSJ)
17 Aug 11. ThruVision Systems announces strong year to date sales. 2011 has seen significant growth for ThruVision Systems with sales of its market leading stand-off people screening products for concealed object detection accelerating. The U.K. based high tech security company has been building its global sales channels which has led to increasing availability of its systems to potential customers worldwide. ThruVision has long been associated with the provision of equipment for government authorities around the world. The interest in its people friendly screening equipment is now also proving to be of real interest within the private sector for a variety of security applications including entrance security and loss prevention. ThruVision Systems announced that during the first quarter of FY2011 sales have been made in Europe, Asia, North America and both Central and South America. These sales encompass both first time orders from new clients as well as repeat orders from existing customers. With the increased demand for its stand-off screening products ThruVision Systems is continuing to develop its partner channels and the company’s decision to work with experienced distributors is bearing fruit. “We are very encouraged by the growth experienced so far this year” said Clive Beattie, ThruVision Systems’ CEO, who added “our order pipeline is strong and we expect sales of our safe and non invasive people screening systems to continue growing in both the public and private sectors”.
18 Aug 11. It was supposed to be the promised land for UK defence companies seeking to expand. But following the government budget standoff this year, the US market is now causing concern for British companies. In the past fortnight, a slew of UK engineering groups have all reported slowing growth in their US defence units. “It’s no longer a rising tide lifting all boats in the US, and some of the sheen has come off the US as a market,” says Guy Brown, with Evolution Securities. Since the early 2000s many defence groups expanded into the US in order to escape sluggish European markets. To do so they invested about $20bn in acquisitions, buying up everything from armoured vehicle makers to defence electronics companies. Ten years on and it is the US market that is now facing a significant slowdown. The government debt ceiling debate is the most recent setback but for UK companies Congressional gridlock, which delayed the 2011 budget, has been hampering business since late last year. Two weeks ago, Cobham, the Dorset-based aerospace specialist, said sales from its US-focused defence business fell 11 per cent to £150m in the first half due to reduced demand for radio systems and a delay in orders for military antennas. Ultra Electronics, the defence electronics group, was also hit. Revenues at its tactical and sonar division fell 4 per cent as the US military cut back on purchases of military radios and ‘sonobuoys’, the metre-long beacons used to identify submarine activity. In response UK companies are revising their future growth estimates. Meggitt, which makes landing gears and braking systems for aircraft, said its defence busi