UK's Darktrace ups 2022 growth forecast on strong cybersecurity demand

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in Paris

By Paul Sandle

LONDON (Reuters) -Darktrace, the British cybersecurity company that listed in April, increased its growth forecast for its 2022 financial year for the second time in as many months on Wednesday, reflecting strong demand for its AI-driven products.

The company, whose shares have increased more than 150% since its initial public offering (IPO), upgraded its outlook after reporting a better-than-expected 41.3% rise in revenue to $281.3 million for the year to the end of June.

Its operating loss, however, increased to $38.5 million from $24.9 million the previous year, mainly on costs associated with the listing.

It said it expected growth of 35% to 37% this year, up from its previous forecast of 29% to 32%, with an adjusted core earnings margin of 2% to 5%, up from its 1% to 4% forecast.

Shares in the Cambridge-based company were trading up 7% at 690 pence at 0723 GMT, giving the company a market value of 4.8 billion pounds.

Chief Executive Poppy Gustafsson said Darktrace had delivered robust results.

"In this new era of cyber-threat, Darktrace is helping organisations from every industry sector, including providers of critical national infrastructure, to protect their digital assets, and avoid the serious disruption that cyber-attacks can cause," she said.

Darktrace uses AI, or artificial intelligence, to detect attacks and vulnerabilities inside IT networks rather than building barriers at the perimeter.

Gustafsson said Darktrace found an existing serious breach in 77% of customer networks when its technology was first deployed, and said the threat was ever evolving.

"It could be supply chain security as in cases like (the incident at Miami-based company) Kaseya, it can be the speed of attacks that we've seen in terms of ransomware like Colonial Pipeline, it could be the risk of sophisticated nation state attacks and it could be insider threat," she told Reuters.

"So there is this constant flow of headlines rather than something that's driving a sort of short-term demand spike."

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kate Holton and Edmund Blair)

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