New global contracts give Pace a strong start to 2014

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PACE, the world’s biggest maker of TV set-top boxes, said it has made a good start to 2014 with strong demand for both existing and new products.

The Saltaire-based company said this gives it confidence that the firm is on track to increase revenues by around nine per cent this year to £1.6bn.

The group has won a number of contracts this year, including BeIn Sports, the leading PayTV provider in the Middle East and North Africa.

BeIn has chosen Pace to supply home media servers and high definition set-top boxes for roll-out across the region.

Media servers are the next generation of clever boxes 
that link together all the devices in the home such as TVs, iPads, tablets, laptops and smartphones.

This allows content to be viewed on any screen.

Pace, whose customers include Comcast, AT&T and DirecTV, said it has made encouraging progress in the fast growing Indian market, where it will provide next generation set-top boxes to Tata Sky, the leading satellite operator. It has also won a contract for set-top boxes, software and conditional access to E-Digital, a leading regional operator.

In Portugal it has won a contract for set-top boxes for Zon Optimus.

The firm has also won a number of set-top box contracts with a number of long term customers in Europe.

In the other side of its business, software and services, Pace has been awarded a number of contracts with the likes of Foxtel, the largest PayTV provider in Australia, and TDS Telecom, a major telecoms operator in the US.

At the Annual General Meeting yesterday, chairman Allan Leighton told shareholders that revenue in the first four months of 2014 was lower than 2013, reflecting the impact of dual-sourcing of media servers and gateways.

This was in line with expectations.

He said that gross margins are well ahead of the first quarter of 2013 due to the positive impact of improved revenue mix, procurement benefits and the acquisition of US networking specialist Aurora Networks, which it bought earlier this year.

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