Avast se­cures rev­enue boost from work-from-home rise

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligen­ce - By Matthew Field

CY­BER se­cu­rity com­pany Avast re­ported an uptick in first-half rev­enues yes­ter­day, buoyed by the in­crease in peo­ple work­ing from home.

The Prague-head­quar­tered com­pany, which pro­vides free to use and sub­scrip­tion cy­ber se­cu­rity tools, re- ported rev­enues of $433m (£332m) in the first six months of the year, up 1.9pc. Ad­justed earn­ings in­creased 2.1pc to $241m.

Avast said its board was keep­ing staff work­ing from home un­til at least Jan­uary 2021 amid the pan­demic.

The cy­ber se­cu­rity firm, which was Lon­don Stock Ex­change’s largest ever tech list­ing when it floated in 2018 at a £2.4bn val­u­a­tion, op­er­ates on a “freemium” model, of­fer­ing free an­tivirus soft­ware which can be up­graded with other tools. It has more than 435m free users and has in­creased its pay­ing user base to 13m. It also sells prod­ucts such as vir­tual pri­vate net­works for anony­mous brows­ing and anti-tracking tools.

On­drej Vl­cek, Avast’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said he ex­pected the com­pany’s fi­nal year rev­enues to be at the up­per end of its pre­vi­ous guid­ance – a mid sin­gle digit in­crease.

The com­pany said the on­go­ing work­from-home trend was ex­pected to con­tinue to boost busi­ness. It added it had do­nated $25m to sci­ence projects dur­ing Covid-19.

Mr Vl­cek said: “Our over­all op­er­a­tional and fi­nan­cial per­for­mance has been strong, aided by the work-fromhome trend that has driven an in­crease in on­line con­sumer ac­tiv­ity and prod­uct en­gage­ment.”

He added that while Avast had been con­cen­trated on or­ganic growth, it was now on the look­out for merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions.

Avast shares, which have risen by nearly 30pc this year, closed down 3pc at 582p.

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