Recession boosts vid-conference firm Tandberg

The recession has helped video-conferencing firm Tandberg to an 18% higher operating profit on improved revenues, unit sales and margins.


The Oslo-based firm posted a Q4 operating profit of $52.8 million, up from $44.9 million in the previous fourth quarter. It boosted revenues 17% to $225.5 million and sold 17,584 conferencing units, up from 16,787 a year earlier.


"Challenging economic times require a break with past practices. Companies are being forced to reduce travel and limit partner meetings, customer events and employee gatherings," said CEO Fredrik Halvorsen.


He said the current economic downturn should increase video usage. But

he cautioned that while businesses "evaluating the ROI of video favorably", purchasing cycles were lengthening.


Asia-Pacific revenue for the quarter was up 24% to $25.6, with Singapore, Hong Kong and Australian markets "holding up well," he said. However, several major Asian government contracts were on hold.


For the full year, Tandberg recorded a $176.7 million operating profit, up from $146.1 million 2007. Sales improved 28% to $808.8 million.


Lars Ronning, president Asia-Pacific, said the recession was "forcing companies to save money and reduce travel."


"As times get tough, companies look long and hard at how they do business. At the same time, videoconferencing and the productivity improvements that follow have got quite a lot of headway," he told