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Focusrite has record year as home recording trend gains momentum

All regions also saw an improvement led by an 18% rise in the Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Taylor Swift
A happy Focusrite customer

Recording equipment specialist Focusrite plc (LON:TUNE) posted record annual profits and sales helped by the growing trend for people to produce their own music.

Originally a supplier to recording artists and professional studios, the company now supplies products for as little as US$99 that plug into PCs for people to record in their bedrooms/home studios.

WATCH: Focusrite Plc reports growth across all its key regions as profits soar

Consumer and professional products both saw sales improve over the year to August, with total revenue rising by 13.7% to £75.1mln and profits by 18% on an underlying basis.

Focusrite, the recording side, saw revenues rise by 17.2% while synthesiser arm Novation picked up by 6.4%.

All regions also saw an improvement led by an 18% rise in the Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Tim Carroll, chief executive, said last year was very strong in the pre-Christmas period for more consumer-oriented products such as Launchpad, its entry-level electronics product.

Trading this financial year so far has been broadly similar though Focusrite expects it to follow a more usual seasonal pattern.

Longer-term Carroll told Proactive the company is now starting to look at other markets to boost revenues further.

Home recording range Scarlett is starting to be used by online gaming streaming and karaoke businesses, for example, while the professional Focusrite Pro models are making ground in post-production and on-air broadcast locations.

App downoads soar

App-based electronic range Ampify meanwhile has seen almost 9.5mln downloads for its IOS-based free apps, which is feeding through into sales of the other ranges.

Many of Focusrite’s staff are musicians or DJs, says Carroll, which helps with the product development as relate back their experiences.

The market is tough but growing, he says, adding that Focusrite’s differentiator remains making its technology as easy to use as possible whatever the level of musical ability.

“Whether you are absolute beginner or a professional, we produce technology that can help.

“If its Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran or just someone posting on YouTube, there is a very high likelihood that they have used one of our products.”

Shares rose 2% to 430p, which values the group at £245mln.


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Focusrite plc Timeline

January 05 2016

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