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March 21, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:01pm


By CBR Staff Writer

A Scottish company is leading the new wave of super cheap CMOS- based imaging technology, and the only thing slowing it down is its big name OEM clients. Edinburgh-based Vision Group Plc has just announced interim results showing a massive leap in revenue to 7.2m pounds from 1.1m pounds in the six months to January 31. The company has made a pre-tax profit of 121,000 pounds, the first profit since Vision started trading. But the firm has warned analysts that full year profits will not be as high as anticipated. Vision blames slow implementation of its technology by OEM clients for the slippage of revenues into 1997-98 from fourth quarter 1996-97. Vision Group has developed the world’s first single chip NTSC color camera – NTSC is the US National Television System Committee standard but is known to its few friends and many enemies as Never Twice the Same Color. In November 1996, the company had hopes for a digital handheld camera based on this technology to be launched by early this year (CI No 3,046). It is still waiting. The board will not name the camera manufacturer it has teamed up with but product launch is said to be soon. Vision group has succeeded in creating a range of single chip cameras with resolutions ranging from 100,000 to 800,000 pixels. The latter is comparable with rival charge- coupled device technology currently used in digital cameras but is much, much cheaper. With digital stills cameras currently selling at 350 pounds to 1,000 pounds the potential for undercutting in this market is huge. The second big application is in the videoconferencing market. Vision Group has completed development of its desktop cameras and has teamed up with Creative Technology Ltd to give it a ‘recognizable market name.’ Once the industry standards in this area emerge, the company is set to claim a big market share. Vision Group has a strong balance sheet with no long term debt and enough cash from its recent rights issue to continue its vital research and development. With new applications for its products being dreamt up every day, the only long term problem will be staying ahead of the competition. It will not be paying an interim dividend.

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