Kudelski, the world’s largest supplier of digital pay-television smart cards through its Nagravision unit, said profit halved last year and earnings will decline further in 2008. The shares dropped to a five year low. Net income fell to 67.4 million Swiss francs from 138.5 million francs (E87.4m) a year earlier The Switzerland-based company said sales rose 33 per cent to 925.8 million francs.
The company indicated operating profit will drop to as low as five million francs this year from 87.7 million francs in 2007 as Kudelski switches to renting its digital-TV cards rather than selling them. The stock has lost 67 per cent of its value in the past 12 months as Premiere AG, Germany’s biggest pay-TV company, said hackers breached encryption.