Security ramp-up boosts TRL

TRL Electronics said demand for its products is on the rise in the UK and around the world as countries invest in increasingly sophisticated security and surveillance systems.

Counter-terrorism technology specialist TRL Electronics said demand for its products is on the rise in the UK and around the world as countries invest in increasingly sophisticated security and surveillance systems.

TRL, which provides governments with advanced technology in areas such as satellite monitoring and electronic warfare, told investors it had secured significant new contracts overseas and seen an increase in demand for defence systems at home.

The company’s major customers are the UK government and its associated defence and security organisations such as BAE Systems, Qinetiq and Thales. It also does business with about 20foreign governments.

Gloucestershire-based TRL floated in July to raise funds forfurther R&D in its core areas.

In an update to shareholders ahead of its first set of financial results later this year, TRL said it had since raised its staff level to 200 after recruiting new specialist engineers.

The company’s government communications division, which is focused on satellite interception, recently won significant newcontracts in Scandinavia and Asia, said TRL. It also began production of its latest range of satellite demodulator technology. The company’s technology allows governments to monitor phone calls, faxes and data transmitted via satellite networks such as Inmarsat.

according to the group its defence systems division ‘saw a recent upturn in activity in its traditional domestic area of business. Looking further afield the division is well placed to exploit the growth in systems and equipment needed to counter the global terrorism threat’.

TRL said its technology and innovation arm had secured what it described as a ‘highly strategic contract’ with the MoD worth £9.4m.

‘The division is also seeing strong demand from several overseas governments for its systems, which protect against radio detonated explosives,’ TRL told shareholders.

The company also sees opportunities for growth in electronic warfare. Its most significant current project is the radar signalsmonitoring system under development for the Astute submarine.

TRL was not the only specialist UK group to report strong demand in the defence and security sector. Technology developer Screen said sales of its electronic warfare, communications and IT systems were ‘particularly strong’ in the first half of 2004.

‘The sectors we serve in the security and surveillance market are continuing to be buoyant,’ the company said. ‘In particular, automatic number plate recognition systems are becoming increasingly widely used for applications ranging from security to traffic management, both in the UK and the US.’