Vianet Group PLC – VNET – Final Results

Vianet Group PLC – VNET – Final Results

Vianet Group plc (AIM: VNET), the international provider of actionable data and business insight through devices connected to its Internet of Things platform ("IOT"), is pleased to announce its final results for the year ended 31 March 2020.

 

Financial highlights

·    Revenue increased 3.8% to £16.28 million (2019: £15.68 million)

·    Recurring revenues remain strong at 92% (2019: 94%,) being sustained by both contactless growth, maintained Smart Zones contribution and continued shift towards annuity-based sales from capital sales in Smart Machines

·    Gross margin remained constant year-on-year at c. 68% (2019: 68%)

·    Adjusted operating profit, pre-exceptional costs, amortisation and share based payments was up 4.5% to £4.03 million (2019: £3.86 million)

·    Profit before taxation was £2.40 million post exceptional items (2019: £2.66 million), with profit after tax flat at £2.43 million (2019: £2.48 million)

·    Basic earnings per share at 8.56 pence (2019: 8.87 pence)

·    The Board decided to withdraw its recommendation to pay a final dividend due to COVID-19, which would amount to approximately £1.16 million. This makes a total dividend for the year of 1.70 pence (2019: 5.70 pence)

·    Government business support measures being utilised including £3.5 million CIBL facility, Job Retention Scheme and loan repayment deferrals 

 

Divisional highlights

·    Smart Machines adjusted operating profit of £1.53 million was up 8.5% (2019: £1.41 million)

·    Smart Machines added 12,059 new connected devices (2019: 10,285)

·    Three significant new 3 - 5-year contracts with leading vending operators. The combined contracts for 20,000 units will generate in the region of £10 million of revenue over the contract terms

·    Smart Zones recurring revenue per device has increased 9.5% to £58.00 (2019: £52.99), reflecting the higher quality recurring revenue streams which has resulted from customers' disposal of relatively lower performing pubs during their estate rationalisation programmes

·    Smart Zones average adjusted operating profit per device increased c. 7.5% to £19.39 (2019: £18.03), reflecting sustained profitability against a lower estate size

·    Smart Zones adjusted operating profit of £4.57 million (2019: £4.48 million)

·    Smart Zones Technology upgrades in 2,518 pubs (2019: 1,901 pubs) creating IOT hubs, with a further 900 in the pipeline for FY21

Commenting, James Dickson, Chairman of Vianet Group plc, said:

"I am pleased to report the Company's final results for the year ended 31 March 2020. Operationally, both divisions of the business have performed well. Smart Machines connections grew by c. 12,000 to c. 38,000 in the year, excluding the Vendman estate of c. 200,000 mobile connections. Our plan is to convert the majority of these Vendman connections to higher value Smart Machines connections, with some 8,600 now converted. Significantly, we also announced three significant new 3 - 5-year contracts with leading vending operators, which will generate in the region of £10 million of revenue over the contract terms.

 

"Despite continued pub disposals in the UK, our Smart Zones division maintained its profit contribution, helped by our Tech Refresh programmes, and we are delighted to note several key contract renewals, including Charles Wells, Greene King, Hawthorn, Hydes, JW Lees, and Punch. Having already received orders and enquiries for installations of new systems as we look to pubs reopening, we believe Smart Zones are well positioned to navigate the COVID-19 exit and recover strongly.

 

"From the very outset of the pandemic, our goal has been to preserve cash to ensure both business continuity and to enable ongoing investment in the business, with the aim of being strongly positioned for the COVID-19 exit phase. Whilst these are still early days, we are encouraged that April's trading performance was well ahead of our revised forecasts, and that the measures we have taken to protect the business have been successful, giving us confidence that we are well positioned to exit from the COVID-19 phase with momentum to accelerate our growth plans.

 

"As such, we would like to thank all Vianet employees for their efforts during this unprecedented time and we look forward to updating the market on our progress in due course."

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