Senetas more secure than ever

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Australian business intelligence vendor Senetas is on track for further steady growth this financial year on the back of its security portfolio sales through subsidiary CTAM.

At the company's AGM, Senetas chairman Francis Galbally said that the ASX-listed vendor expects the 2003-04 financial year to reap $18 million to $20 million, an increase from 2002-03's break-even $13 million in line with the company's strategy for steady growth.

'Senetas has now consistently increased operating revenues by double digit growth over the past four financial years and is on track for a profitable 2004,' he said.

Galbally said that a renewed focus by 'most Western governments' on cyber-terrorism meant businesses were increasingly making IT security top priority while Senetas subsidiary CTAM targeted the high-speed data security niche.

'The expansion of the security business, with the significant sales pipeline for our CTAM products both through US partner SafeNet and through local sales, should see Senetas move to sustainable profit generation in the next six months.' he said.

Galbally said that, overall, the IT market had proved uncertain and margins had fallen as a result. However, double-digit growth in revenue was expected for the next few years, especially since SafeNet products were now distributed in Australia.

'It has taken longer to achieve this [revenue] target than we would have liked. However, your board has adopted a cautious approach to growth in what has been an uncertain IT market,' he said.

Senetas had focused on niche specialisation rather than broad services provision, he said, with an 'earnings core' of enterprise information management, security and business intelligence.

'The focus in the coming year will be on growing the security segment both in product and services revenue,' Galbally said.

He flagged possible expansion through acquisitions or partnerships, saying Senetas had a mind to 'playing a role' in the consolidating several Australian IT security 'players' into one listed company in coming years.

Meanwhile, Senetas would continue to develop its Datum business intelligence and IBK enterprise management consultancy units as a revenue base, he said. 'Technology is not the flavour of the month it once was ... [but] Senetas is well-positioned,' Galbally told the AGM.

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