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DVD read-speed booster Zen posts $6m loss

Demand for technology won't kick in until 2002

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Zen Research, a developer of CD and DVD technology, has reported a $6 million loss for the first six months to 30 June.

Turnover was up from $6000 to $120,000, and the company says that this will keep it on track to turn a profit within two years. Analysts forecast turnover of $480,000 this year, rising to $16 million in 2001 and $40 million the year after that.

Zen devises technology to improve the performance of CDs and DVDs, getting the data reading speed up without resorting to higher rpms that introduce the inevitable "wobble factor" that produces distortions, making the disc hard to read.

The technology uses several multiple laser beams to read many tracks concurrently. It uses complex data algorithms to reconcile the data.

Darren Lauber, an analyst at WestLB, told the FT: "Zen's technology is ahead of commercial reality, and we will not see demand kicking in until 2002. The money the company raised on floatation will help to keep it ahead of the game in R&D." ®

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