Monday, 08 August 2011

De La Rue to Close Two UK Sites

De La Rue announced on Friday that it is relocating two of its UK sites - Dunstable and Basingstoke. The workforce was told at lunchtime that the sites would close and production would be transferred to Gateshead in the north east and Westhoughton in the north west.

In May revenue fell by 17% compared with 2010 and Nicholas Brookes, De La Rue Chairman, commented: "The 2010/11 financial year has undoubtedly been a difficult one for De La Rue, our employees, customers and shareholders. We have dealt with a number of challenges including paper production issues; lower than expected banknote print volumes, changes in senior management and a takeover approach.

"The Improvement Plan has a target to achieve an operating profit in excess of 100 million-pound within three years by both restoring revenue growth and delivering significant cost reduction. The Board is confident that this plan can be delivered and its decision to maintain the dividend reflects that confidence, and the strong fundamentals of the business."

Louisa Bull, Unite Union officer said,"De La Rue has indicated that it wishes to undertake the changes over the next 18 months.

GTSI Wins Contract to Provide Biometric Automated Toolset Systems for U.S. Army

GTSI Corp. an information technology systems integrator for federal, state and local governments, announce the award of the Biometric Automated Toolset-Army (BAT-A) contract by the U.S. Army.

The contract will provide war fighters mobile biometric devices to assist in real-time identification of persons of interest in the field. The contract has a total value of $159 million. The award covers a 16-month period and will be executed as part of GTSI's Information Technology Enterprise Solutions - 2 Hardware (ITES-2H) contract with the federal government.

First Data Reports 2.9% Loss

First Data Corporation reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011. For the second quarter, the net loss was $176 million, compared to $171 million a year ago. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $561 million was up 9% compared to $513 million in the second quarter of 2010, driven by growth in EBITDA across all three business segments.

Consolidated revenue for the second quarter increased $135 million to $2.7 billion, up 5% compared to $2.6 billion a year ago. Revenue growth was primarily attributable to increases in debit network fees and favourable impacts of changes in foreign currency. Adjusted revenue, which excludes certain items including reimbursables, increased $35 million, or 2%, year-over-year to $1.7 billion.

First Data generated $526 million in operating cash flow, after interest payments of $161 million, for the quarter and finished the quarter with $1.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity-$287 million in cash available for corporate use plus $1.5 billion under the revolving credit facility.

Light Handheld Device for RFID and NFC from Casio

CASIO has unveiled the DT-X8 with RFID one of the world lightest handheld device. The Casio DT-X8 with RFID reads and writes tags in accordance with ISO15693 I-CODE SLI, Tag-it and my-d. When it comes to contactless smart cards and Near Field Communication (NFC), it supports protocols in accordance with ISO14443 A/B, FeliCa and Mifare.

Thomas Uppenkamp, Head of the Mobile Industrial Solutions division at Casio Europe GmbH, proudly announced "Our Japanese engineers have developed and integrated a tiny RFID module that uses little energy and enables the handheld terminal with RFID-R/W plus laser scanner to be operated for 25 hours, and the handheld terminal with RFID-R/W plus CMOS imager to be operated for 20 hours"

The CASIO DT-X8 uses a PXA320 processor with 624 MHz, 128 MB RAM and 256 MB FROM memory in a Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3 system. The contrast-rich colour display supports user-friendly data input via a touch screen. The screen can be used for softkey functionality and, for example, for capturing signatures directly on the display. The BlanView LCD is highly transflective and saves power while offering increased visibility when working in interior and exterior areas.

One in Three Gamers Has Used "Real World" Money to Purchase Virtual Content

U.S. Gamers, whose online purchases of digital goods were once paid for largely by credits earned from advertiser offers, now say they are migrating to "real world" payment for digital goods using debit, credit and prepaid cards, according to a new study of online gamer behaviour commissioned by PlaySpan, and undertaken by research firm VGMarket.

According to the study, nearly one-third (31 percent) of the general gamer population has used real world money to purchase virtual content. Of those gamers who use real world money, 57 percent said they make purchases of virtual items using real world money at least once every month. Console games with online play account for the majority (51 percent) of virtual purchases using real world money, with social networking games (30 percent) and Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs) coming in at second and third respectively.

Overall, 72 percent of respondents indicated they expect to spend the same or more money on games in 2011 as they did in 2010. 67 percent of those who intend to spend more said they were playing more online games than last year, with 42 percent saying they have more money to spend. 32 percent claimed ease of purchase as the main reason, while greater in-game rewards (30 percent) were the fourth most popular reason.

The survey data was compiled in July 2011 from over 1000 gamers drawn from a VGMarket database.

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