A rising Canadian dollar and a plunge in North American orders helped push March Networks Corp.'s loss to $32.5 million for the fiscal year ending April 30, the  IP video surveillance systems maker reported Thursday. By comparison March lost $6.6 million in the previous fiscal year.
“We benefited from it last year,” CFO Ken Taylor told financial analysts of the dollar's drop, “We got hit by it this year,” with the dollar above 90 cents U.S. The Ottawa company laid off about 20 people worldwide in May as part of a restructuring, which will continue in the next 12 months.
For the year, revenue totalled $86.6 million, a 14 per cent drop over the year before.
Revenue was up 6 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to the third, but a write off of $21 million for future income tax assets and investment tax credits meant it suffered a net loss of $27 million in the quarter.
CEO Peter Strong said that last June — as the recession was still underway — he set “ambitous and optimistic” financial and strategic goals based on talks with enterprise customers and reports of strong infrastructure stimulus spending in the U.S. and Europe.”Unfortunately,” he said,”stimulus spending at the state and municpal levels didn't materialize as anticipated.”
Still, March's balance sheet and cash position are strong, Strong said, and international sales now account for 39 per cent of revenue. Wal-Mart continues to be the company's biggest customer, responsible for 12 per cent of revenue.
Strong said he's “excited and optimistic” about the next 12 months, noting the company just signed a deal with an unnamed U.S. bank committing to put March gear in 2,000 of its branches. However, he refused to give financial guidance for the upcoming fiscal year.
 

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Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com