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Baltimore issues profits warning

Blames firms delaying e-business projects

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Security firm Baltimore Technologies has issued a first quarter profit warning blaming lower than expected sales on its customers' decisions to postpone ebusiness plans.

Baltimore expects its first quarter revenues to be pegged at $33.6 million, against the £25 million it previously predicted. It's the second time in less than a month that Baltimore, Europe's largest security firm, has cut its sales and earning forecasts and mean it will continue to make a loss when it reports its results next month.

Despite these setbacks, Baltimore points out that the lower than expected revenues are still 150 per cent up on its revenues of $13.4 million for the same quarter last year.

The firm says it will carry out a review of its operations and business model to position itself for a slowdown in ecommerce spending. This move hints at possible job cuts ahead for Baltimore, which specialises in marketing secure systems for ebusiness and in particular Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) products and services.

PKI systems can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to install and run and the slowdown in Baltimore's sales provides evidence of a wider reluctance by firms to invest in ebusiness technologies that will only pay off in the longer term.

Other Net infrastructure software firms such as Autonomy which, like Baltimore, sells much of its technology in Europe, have also reported that delayed orders will hit them financially.

Baltimore will release its first-quarter results, along with the result of its operational review, on May 15. ®

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Baltimore's profit warning

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