Smart Technologies to shut down NextWindow

Summary:Canada's Smart Technologies is exiting the optical touch sensor display business for desktops.

Announcing its third quarter financial results today, Canadian display technology company Smart Technologies announced it would exit the optical touch sensor business for desktop displays

That means it will shut down its New Zealand-based business NextWindow business which it bought for US$82 million after a patent stoush in 2010.

"The business is not part of Smart's core operations, as the components are used primarily for all-in-one desktop PCs, and profitability is not meeting corporate expectations," Smart announced today.

The company will focus instead on large format displays and software for education and enterprise customers.

Optical touch displays use sensors around the perimeter of the screen to track the touching object from multiple angles so no contact pressure is required.

Smart says NextWindow will work closely with employees, customers and suppliers to manage its commitments during this wind down period.

"The estimated one-time earnings impact of the wind down is currently US$30 to US$35 million, US$14 million of which was incurred in Smart's third quarter of fiscal 2014, and the balance of which is expected to be recorded in the fourth quarter," it says.

"The earnings impact is driven primarily by non-cash asset write-downs, and Smart's current expectation is that the wind down will have an immaterial impact on its cash resources."

The wind down is expected to be completed by the end of March 2015.

Smart announced adjusted revenue of US$143.4 million, up 4% year-over-year for the quarter to December 31. Adjusted EBITDA of US$19.3 million, was up 233% year-over-year. Net income was US$9.0 million.

Topics: New Zealand, Education


Rob O'Neill is a writer for CBS Interactive based in Auckland, New Zealand covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet. He has previously worked for IDG, The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne's The Age as well as various business titles, most recently editing the Business Sunday section of New Zealand's weekly national news... Full Bio

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