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Pace profits halve in 2011

British set-top box developer suffers from disrupted supply chain following Thai floods.

Pace plc has posted a slump in profits for 2011. The West Yorkshire-based IT company saw its pre-tax profits for the year more than halve to $54.7 million (£34.7m).

The TV set-top box maker had suffered from disrupted supply chains over much of 2011 due to natural disasters in the Pacific. The floods in Thailand -- triggered by heavy monsoon rain that began in July -- severely hit the operations of hard-disk suppliers Western Digital and Seagate, whose components are used in Pace's satellite, Freeview and cable products.

Pace's operations for the year also suffered from the the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, which caused over 15,000 deaths and multiple nuclear meltdowns in Japan; most notably at the Fukushima power plant.

Mike Pulli, the CEO of Pace since December, said the results were in line with November predictions and that a strategic review showed the company's markets were "large, growing and profitable". The supply chain disruption is expected to continue being felt during the first half of 2012.

Pace's customers include the US's largest cable and internet operator, Comcast, and Latin America's largest cable TV service, Net Servicos, based in Brazil.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.