Anti-virus rivals Network Associates (NAI) and Symantec delivered a poles apart picture of the network security market last week, when both companies unveiled contrasting figures.
As expected, NAI reported sharply reduced sales and profit for its second quarter ended 30 June, following its decision in April to cull channel orders to reduce excess stock levels.
Revenue was $25m, down from $250m in the same period a year ago, while the loss amounted to $195m, compared with a loss of $38m last year.
NAI's shares hovered around $19, down from a high of $65 at the start of the year, fuelling speculation that the firm could be bought.
But Symantec, on the back of a decision to redirect its strategy and focus on the security and content management market for mobile devices, turned in record revenue of $175m for its first quarter ended 31 March, an increase of 27 per cent on the previous year. Profit for the period was up slightly to $26m, from $24m a year ago.
The vendor experienced strong growth in the EMEA region, with sales up by 48 per cent. In the UK during the second quarter ended 30 June, licence revenue grew by 229 per cent over the same period a year ago and exceeded first-quarter sales by 28 per cent, despite being a traditionally weaker period.
Aled Miles, regional director of Symantec in the UK and Ireland, said: "Looking at these figures, you have to ask if this market is still a two-horse race. When you give the channel focus, you get results."
To support its focus on the mobile security market, Symantec last week bought internet content security vendor URLabs for an undisclosed sum.
NAI was unavailable for comment on the matter.
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