Vianet Group plc (AIM: VNET), the international provider of actionable data and business insight through devices connected to its Internet of Things ("IOT") platform, today provides the following trading update ahead of the Group's preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2018, which are expected to be released on Tuesday, 5 June 2018.
Trading for the second half of the year has been largely as anticipated and, as a result, the Group's full year profits will be broadly in line with market expectations and ahead of last year's outturn of £3.32 million. As such, the Board intends to recommend a maintained final dividend of 4.0 pence per share.
The Smart Machines division continues to deliver growth in connected devices and penetration into the European market. The integration of the recent Vendman acquisition and bedding in of the material contract win with a global coffee company are both going well, as is progress on increasing the proportion of recurring revenue as a percentage of new sales. Whilst Smart Machines revenue stream transition from capital sales to recurring annuity suppresses short term financial performance, it is providing greater visibility and quality of future earnings for this division.
The Smart Zones divisional contribution is slightly down year on year. However, investment in Pubco data analytics capability and its increased automation of transactional processes will help to sustain future contribution despite the challenges faced in its customers' core market of UK pub retailing.
James Dickson, Chairman, commented: "The Group will again deliver good year-on-year profit growth. Importantly, this has been achieved whilst shifting the balance of Smart Machines sales from capital to recurring annuity based income. The Group's medium to long term prospects are exciting, particularly for telemetry and payment solutions for the coffee vending market, where momentum is being boosted by good progress integrating the Vendman acquisition, and better visibility on delivery of the material contract win with a global coffee company."