Cyber security giant Sophos Group turned a huge profit of $23.9 million for the final three months of 2018 thanks to 15 per cent subscription revenue growth.

That compared with an operating loss of $1.6m loss for the same period a year earlier.

However shares in the firm based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire fell 25 per cent on Friday as it warned of tepid billings growth in the nine-month period ending 31st December and “continued subdued performance”.

It posted constant currency billings growth – regarded as the value of products and services invoiced to customers – of two per cent for both the three- and nine-month periods.

Overall revenue increased by 14 per cent over the nine months with a huge leap in profitability of 157 per cent as it generated profit of $51m compared with a loss of $25m in 2017.

"Sophos remains strongly positioned from a technology, product, and strategic perspective.  We are confident in our strengthening product platform and how it positions us for the future," said CEO Kris Hagerman.

The FTSE 250 company added more than 25,000 to its customer base in the year-to-date and now has 327,000.