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Losses deepen at Hauppauge video security company

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Vicon logo

The share price of Vicon Industries Inc., of Hauppauge, a security video system maker, recovered slightly after its annual report last week showed deepening losses — nearly 10 times its loss last year — in part due to a $5 million payout in a patent-infringement legal settlement.

Vicon lost money for the year even after cutting its workforce, and a lagging economy could lead to further layoffs in the 2012 fiscal year, the company said in its annual report issued Thursday. Vicon did not provide layoff numbers.

About 28 percent of the company’s business is overseas, and the dollar’s strength against the British pound and the euro led to exchange-rate losses, the company said. Due to Vicon’s research and development costs in Israel, the shekel’s drop in value compared to the dollar has led to further losses.

The economic malaise in the U.S. and elsewhere was the prime cause for the results, Vicon said.

“Since fiscal year 2009, the company's sales levels have been impacted by the worldwide economic downturn as capital expenditures for new construction, expansion and renovation projects have weakened,” Vicon said in its SEC report.

Company executives added that they believe Vicon “has sufficient cash to meet its anticipated operating costs and capital expenditure requirements for at least the next 12 months.”

Vicon’s shares closed Friday at $3.20, up 2 cents from Thursday’s close of $3.18.

The stock dropped about 4 percent Thursday on news from Vicon that it lost $11.46 million on sales of $47.1 million in its fiscal year ending Sept. 11. That compared to last year’s loss of $1.2 million on revenue of $48.6 million. In terms of earnings per diluted share, the company showed a loss of $2.55 per share, compared to a loss of $0.28 per diluted share last year.

The company’s sales have dropped in each of the past four years, from $69 million in 2007. Its earnings have also fallen each year since it reported $7.8 million profit in 2007.

Newsday reported in July that Vicon had decided to pay $5 million to settle an 8-year-old patent lawsuit brought by Lectrolarm Custom Systems Inc., a Tennessee company that sued Vicon in 2003 over its design of a dome camera system, alleging patent infringement. In a statement, Vicon continued to maintain that the suit was “without merit” but said it was ready to move on.

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