Arab unrest hits Harris Corp

Critical networks vendor sees $100m in orders delayed due to political turmoil

Tags: Cyber crimeHarris CorporationPakistan
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Arab unrest hits Harris Corp Harris Corp specialises in critical communications
By  Daniel Shane Published  August 3, 2011

Harris Corporation, a provider of secure communications and critical networks, saw $100 million in Middle East and North African sales postponed due to ongoing political unrest.

The Florida-based company, which serves the government, military and telecommunications sectors, said that the ‘Arab Spring' uprisings in the region meant that some orders had been deferred until a later quarter.

"About $100 million in international tactical communications orders slipped to the right as a result of political uncertainty in Central Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa," said CEO Howard Lance in a conference call yesterday. The vendor's tactical communications division sells products including secure wireless links, secure IP communications, encryption technologies, and military-grade radios.

However, Lance insisted that this setback would not impact Harris's long-term position in the region. "While the delays are certainly unfortunate in the near term, they will get sorted out eventually. And we're confident that our business will benefit in the long term from this business."

Due to the sensitive nature of its operations, Harris does not disclose all of the entities it works with regionally, although Lance claimed that the recent severing of some funding made by the US to Pakistan had not been a major cause of sales deferrals. "We certainly think that while Pakistan is kind of on-hold currently, we certainly expect that [US] relations there will warm, and we'll see... that market open back up to us," Lance said.

He added that it had been "a very tumultuous six-month period" in the Middle East, but that Harris had not "lost any orders" in the region entirely.

Harris made the disclosure as it published its financial results for 4Q11. During the three-month period up, the company increased global sales by 15% year-on-year to $1.67 billion. Net income, however, fell from $151 million to $134 million. 

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