REVENUES at Blackburn technology firm Promethean have plummeted by almost a fifth in the first six months of the year.

Despite a strong showing in North America, the education experts, based in Lower Philips Road, saw takings up to the end of June fall by 17.6 per cent to £57.7m.

Gross profit at the firm, which floated on the London Stock Exchange for £400m in 2010, was £18m, down almost 28 per cent on the figure of £24.9m in the same period last year.

Promethean, a world leader in interactive whiteboards and other classroom software, suffered an operating loss of £6.4 million, compared to £3.4 million for the first half of 2013.

It was floated on the stock market in 2010 by the firm’s founder, businessman Tony Cann, and was one of the regions strongest growing firms.

But the credit crunch and a contraction in the market has seen the company change its focus from hardware to software products.

It continues to employ more than 200 people at its Whitebirk site.

Jim Marshall, the company’s chief executive officer, said the response to its new Class Flow software, which allows teachers to organise and deliver multi-media lessons through tablets, had been ‘encouraging’.

He said: “Together with our professional services team, we anticipate that it will be a key differentiator, helping us win new contracts.

“Its development path goes beyond aggregating data in classrooms, to aggregating and enabling analysis of data at school, district and national levels, creating the prospect for further significant improvements in learning and administration efficiency.

“All of this is helping us evolve from being a hardware to being a software and solutions driven company, strengthening our positioning in the changing educational technology marketplace.

“The impact of our software strategy will only begin to be felt towards the end of this year, but we expect it to grow steadily from next year onwards.

“In the meantime, we will continue to manage our business prudently and conserve our cash.”

Promethean’s shares were valued at around 27p yesterday, down from 30p prior to the announcement of the half-year results.