SOPHOS GROWS AT MORE THAN TWICE MARKET RATE WITH 36% INCREASE IN TURNOVER

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Sophos, a world leader in computer security for businesses, announced today that it has experienced strong market demand for its converged security products, with an increase in turnover of 36% to 55.5 million for the year ended March 2004.

As the company prepares for the next fiscal year, it has acquired an award-winning client firewall technology and expertise in a non-exclusive transfer deal with Agnitum Ltd. Sophos will use Agnitum's Outpost Pro product as a technology base to engineer an industrial-strength solution for future integration into Sophos's suite of products designed specifically for networked environments.

In mid-February, Sophos will announce significant product upgrades that incorporate a number of benefits, including advanced technologies which enhance the proactive interception of new viruses and emerging spam campaigns.

"Sophos is committed to providing a best-of-breed integrated security suite for its customers, which is why we've chosen to acquire award-winning firewall technology," said Jan Hruska, chief executive officer, Sophos. "Our consistent performance and impressive growth year-on-year proves that the market appreciates our strong focus on business markets and our efforts to meet customer demand for simplified, consolidated endpoint and gateway protection against the latest security threats."

Over the past 16 months, and with the consolidation of anti-spam protection and email policy enforcement protection into its product portfolio, Sophos has successfully moved from being an established anti-virus firm to a respected security company with an expert focus on gateway and endpoint solutions.

In the UK alone, sales of Sophos PureMessage, the company's consolidated email gateway protection, have increased 100-fold since April 2004. Sophos products are used by over 50% of the companies listed in the latest FTSE 100 as well as protecting many well known names such as Marks & Spencer, Orange, Oxford University and Sainsbury's.

"Increasingly organisations are looking for flexible, easy-to-manage security solutions that address the spectrum of threats as well as protect data through policy enforcement and regulatory compliance, said Chris Christiansen, Program Vice President for IDC's Security Products program. "By broadly defining the threat environment, recognising the convergence and complexity of those threats and adding personal firewall to its offering, Sophos is ahead of the curve in providing protection at all points of the network."

Analyst group IDC predicts the security software market as a whole to grow at 16.9% annually between 2003 and 2008. In the last financial year, Sophos's turnover grew at more than twice this rate - 36% - demonstrating the company's continued momentum in capturing market share in the highly competitive security market. Sophos's customer base has grown 18% in the same period, with an impressive global renewal rate of 76%.

Employee numbers at Sophos have also increased - by 38% in the past 12 months, with 920 staff now employed globally, of which 460 are based at the global HQ in Abingdon, UK. To further fuel growth, the company is currently undertaking a recruitment drive to hire an additional 120 new staff before the end of this fiscal year.

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