Ferranti International Signal Plc launched itself yesterday as the combined businesses of Ferranti Plc and International Signal and Control but the two companies announced half-time results separately: the new combined company plans to go for a US listing in the future. Ferranti reported pretty dismal results with pre tax profits of ?23m, up just 5% on sales up a mere 1.7% to ?302m, the dull performance being largely a result of problems with Ferranti’s offshore business, which lost ?1.7m on sales down 13%. There were a couple of bungled contracts in oil related activities and a few customers went out of business. However the company said that Ministry of Defence orders are now coming on stream as well as export orders. International Signal Control did slightly better with pre-tax profits up 13.8% at $23.9m while turnover rose 42.6% to $336.9m. Ferranti has now set up two co ordinating groups to look at how to merge the two companies, for which it feels there are excellent growth prospects in the future from the combined marketing force. Ferranti believes that combined with the skills that ISC brings to the party, it will now be able to go large-scale weapon contracts not previously available to it. The company is due to launch a new marketing subsidiary in the next couple of days aimed at this area. Ferranti’s computer business continued to do well and borrowings are steady. The company is still waiting to hear whether the consortium it leads in the bidding to supply radar technology to the European Fighter Aircraft contract will best the consortium led by GEC. Whichever wins will become dhe major provider of radar systems in Europe. One of Ferranti’s biggest growth prospects in the future and the area in which it has established a lead on other manufacturers Europewide is in digital cordless telephones or CT2. The Office of Telecommunications and the Department of Trade and Industry have assured Ferranti that its Zonephone system can be launched later this year. Development is now complete and the only black cloud hanging over it is that the European Commission appears to be dragging its feet over CT2 standard-setting. Ferranti says that it will be aiming the product first at the French and Hong Kong markets first, where it hints that it is already meeting with some success.