25 May 2013

Rakon not expected to turn profit before 2015

4:15 pm on 25 May 2013

Rakon chief executive Brent Robinson does not expect the company to make a profit for at least another two years, as the company tries to turn its fortunes around.

Shares in the smartphone component maker closed down 16% on Thursday, as it posted a loss of nearly $33 million.

The loss was partly due to intense competition from Japanese rivals who get a pricing advantage from the devaluation of the yen.

Another factor was a $17 million writedown on the firm's Chinese and New Zealand operations.

Mr Robinson says margins in the smartphone market will continue to be squeezed for some time, but there are signs of promising growth with the take-up of 4G technology in both the United States and China.

He says options to reduce Rakon's debt mountain will be revealed in July, but they don't include a capital-raising.

The head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, Mark Lister, says some investors won't want to wait that long, and he questions how Rakon can reduce its debt without going cap in hand to shareholders.

He says the lack of any information or any sort of a concrete plan is probably causing shareholders concern.

Mr Lister says Rakon has been a disappointing performer for some time and people would have to be brave to invest in it, given its track record.