Cisco Systems New Zealand, the local unit of the global internet network group, lifted annual sales 4.3 per cent last year, and expects to be well placed this year as an increasing number of firms demand greater services from web-based providers using the company's systems.

Revenue rose to $24.96 million in the 12 months ended July 31, 2014, from $23.94 million a year earlier, while the net loss narrowed to about $537,000 from $723,000 in 2013, according to financial statements lodged with the Companies Office. Of that, $19.86 million in revenue was derived from related parties, down from $23.92 million a year earlier.

The salary and wages bill rose 14 per cent to $16.5 million in the year, and other operating expenses more than doubled to $2.03 million.

Sister entity Cisco Technologies New Zealand reported operating revenue of $10.87 million in the year ended July 31, of which about $693,000 was received from related parties. The unit, which was incorporated on January 29, 2013 and dormant until November 24, 2013, reported a loss of $24,512 in the year.

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Country manager Geoff Lawrie said Cisco's broad suite of products meant it was well placed to meet rising demand from a growing reliance on web-based services.

California-based Cisco Systems is the world's largest networking equipment and systems vendor, generating a net profit of US$7.85 billion on sales of US$47.14 billion.

Of that, Asia Pacific, Japan and China reported a US$403 million drop in annual sales to US$7.36 billion, with India, Japan, Australia and China contributing to the weakness.

Lawrie was upbeat about the prospects for the coming year as the Government's ultrafast broadband network progresses and firms continue to demand more from their IT service providers. Security was where Cisco NZ was seeing the fastest growth, he said. "It's a huge part of our business now."