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21st Century Technology Surges on Transport CCTV: London Mover

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- 21st Century Technology Plc, a U.K. supplier of CCTV monitors on buses and trains, surged the most in 10 months after saying it expects a “significant improvement” in operating margin and profit for the full year.

The shares advanced 12 percent to 12.5 pence, the biggest gain since Feb. 14, at the close in London. About 1.2 million shares traded, more than six times the three-month daily average, giving the company a market value of 11.7 million pounds ($18.9 million).

Cost savings and new orders will help 21st Century boost pretax profit in 2012 to about 1.8 million pounds, a 20 percent increase from a year ago, the Croydon, England-based company said today in a statement. Profit after tax will increase for a fifth year, it said.

“Despite difficult market conditions we have continued to make good progress,” Chairman Jan Holmstrom said in the statement. Cost savings have “borne fruit” and the board plans to propose a dividend of at least a third of pretax profit, 21st Century said.

While some orders anticipated for the second half of the year won’t take place until next year, the pipeline is strong, the company said. The appointment of Wilson Jennings as chief executive officer in October has been “seamless,” Holmstrom said.

Besides offering mobile surveillance systems for public transport, 21st Century sells the EcoManager technology to help drivers reduce fuel consumption and emissions. It also supplies passenger counting systems that allow transportation providers to monitor traffic patterns and audit fare revenue.

Vadim Alexandre, an analyst at Daniel Stewart who predicted in August that the shares would more than double to 28 pence in a year, said today he is reviewing his price target. Daniel Stewart acts as a broker and nominated adviser for 21st Century Technology.

The company said it intends to announce 2012 results in late March.

To contact the reporter on this story: Colm Heatley in Belfast at cheatley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: eat dlytle@bloomberg.net; David Risser at drisser@bloomberg.net

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