Following a company like Software Radio Technology (SRT:AIM) (SRT) is a bit like reading an Agatha Christie whodunnit – they'll be twists and turns, sub-plots and red herrings. Investors are seemingly chuffed with today's full year trading update, spurring the share price to rally close on 5% to 33.5p, but the mystery remains – what did happen to those profits?
The maritime navigation technology supplier says that revenues for the year just closed to 31 March will 24% up year-on-year at £10.6 million, slightly better than the £10 million forecasted. There will also be a pre-tax profit of around £200,000, an improvement on the breakeven expected, and produced in the previous year.
What's welcome here is an apparently strong second six months that has rescued the day. Things hadn't looked promising when SRT published interim figures of £3.6 million revenues and £0.7 million loss before tax.
Shareholders will be buoyed by the company's £70 million order book and £200 million sales pipeline, then there are upbeat comments about the future from CEO Simon Tucker, saying he anticipates 'an exciting year ahead.'
Analysts currently have £0.7 million of pre-tax profit pencilled in for the coming 12 months, on about £12 million of revenue, yet that still implies half a million quid of pre-tax profit lower than 2013, the firm's best year to date.
In November 2014 we noted that performance hasn't always matched SRT's optimism in a short piece entitled 'SRT still cast adrift of predictability', which you can read here. 18-months on from then and, with a typically patchy cash flow performance, SRT looks destined to remain fixed on a unpredictable course in a sea of volatility.