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Corero education unit continues to outshine security business

Alex Scroxton

Despite concerted efforts to raise its market profile and a recent channel makeover, Corero's core Network Security business was soundly outperformed by its legacy education unit, Corero Business Systems, in the 12 months to 31 December 2011.

In numbers that echo a similar picture painted six months ago, Corero Business Systems - which specialises in Academies and sold into an impressive 192 of them in 2011 - grew its sales by 45% to £4.4m and reported operating profit of £1.6m.

The ex-Top Layer Network Security business - which also scored some substantial successes during the course of the year as its anti-DDoS products captured the security zeitgeist - made sales of £6.9m but booked an operating loss of £550,000. Note that these figures refer only to the period since the reverse takeover of Top Layer.

Total group sales were £11.3m, up from £3m in 2010, while adjusted consolidated pre-tax losses widened from £32,000 in 2010 to £260,000 in 2011.

In spite of the difference in performance between its two businesses, Corero's focus remains laser sharp on the security side of things, according to group chairman Jens Montanana, who referred to an "encouraging" performance in his statement to the City on Tuesday morning.

"The placing in March which raised £4.3m after costs will allow Corero to further penetrate the network security market and ensure that it is well-placed to fully exploit opportunities in network security, an area which is becoming ever more relevant to business in light of increasing cyber attacks," said Montanana.

TechMarketView analyst Anthony Miller suggested that although there would be no shortage of buyers for Business Systems, the fact that it was the only part of the business generating cash meant Montanana would keep his paws on it for now.


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