The results for MediaZest plc (the “Group”) for the year ended 31 March 2018 incorporate the results of its subsidiary, MediaZest International Limited, which is wholly owned.
Results for the year and Key Performance Indicators
- Revenue for the period was £2,819,000 down 6% (2017: £3,013,000).
- Gross profit was £1,361,000 – a 4% increase (2017: £1,313,000).
- Gross margins improved to 48% (2017: 44%).
- EBITDA was a loss of £113,000 (2017: loss of £2,000).
- Loss after tax of £256,000 increased 80% (2017: loss of £142,000).
- The basic and fully diluted loss per share was 0.02 pence (2017: 0.01 pence).
- Cash in hand at period end £38,000 (2017: £160,000).
The Group comprises two entities: MediaZest plc, a holding company quoted on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange, and an operational company, MediaZest International Limited.
Despite much progress in building the business during the year, the Board is disappointed with the financial results for year ended 31 March 2018 (“FY18”), which have been significantly affected by delays to three substantial projects that have all fallen into the new financial year ended 31 March 2019 (“FY19”). This timing risk was highlighted in the interim results announcement of 15 December 2017.
The net impact on the FY18 accounts has been that revenues are lower than expected by approximately £450,000 and net profit lower by approximately £200,000. There was also a further impact on cash in hand at year end as the Group held stock for two of these projects prior to the FY18 year-end cut-off.
In spite of these delays, the operational business, MediaZest International Limited, has again showed a net profit, with revenues of £2,819,000 (2017: £3,013,000) and profit of £95,000 after tax (2017: £118,000).
The most significant improvement in the business was evidenced by the increase in recurring contractual revenue. The Group continues to focus its efforts on permanent audio-visual installation work, with accompanying growth in recurring revenues. Over time this is expected to mitigate the impact of project delays such as those previously mentioned.
This strategy continues to work well for the Group and, as announced in the trading update on 23 May 2018, the current run rate of recurring revenues has grown significantly in the last 12 months. At the current time it is in excess of £700,000, more than double the level at the beginning of FY18. This increase in recurring revenue contracts will have substantial impact in FY19 as many of these contracts began relatively recently and the associated revenues are apportioned across the life of the contract.
The Group now supports approximately 2,000 displays in over 20 countries under these contracts.
Margins continue to improve in the business as recurring revenues grow, also reflecting the strategic emphasis on providing managed services in conjunction with any hardware supplied. This managed service wraps around the audio-visual proposition and includes the analysis of return on investment and associated data services for clients which the Board believes will be an area of profitable growth in the coming years.
The Group’s advanced expertise in these areas provides a competitive advantage and in building on initial development of a product based on facial recognition technology (“MediaZest Retail Analytics”) it has invested in acquiring access to new tools for data measurement and a refined reporting database to provide clients with further reporting and analytical services in respect of this data.
Costs have risen in some areas as the Group becomes better structured to meet client needs and there have also been increases in expenses associated with the listing of MediaZest plc and interest expense on shareholder loans. The Board continues to monitor these closely and will adjust as necessary to meet the demands of the business in FY19.
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS AND MARKETS SERVED
The Group continues to enjoy a strong reputation in the broader retail sector, particularly in the Automotive, Fashion, Electronic goods and Financial Services sectors.
Project highlights for the year include the completion of our first store for Volkswagen, at Birmingham Bullring; completion of our first and delivery of our second major store projects for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group plus substantial project work with HP. All are new clients won within the last 18 months.
Other new clients include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and in the automotive sector Mitsubishi and Ford through our relationship with Rockar along with projects in Germany with Opel and a corporate project with BMW in the UK.
The Company’s work with Ted Baker, Diesel, Kuoni, HMV, Halfords, Hyundai and several others all continues.
As well as serving clients all over the UK, in the past year there has been notable growth in overseas opportunities. Ted Baker is a client the Company works with on a global basis, now including Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), North America and Australasia. Recent projects for HP have been across the EMEA region and the Group recently completed several projects in China. There is an ongoing project for Opel is in Germany and the Group is pitching on several other multi-national substantial opportunities. The Board believes this offers meaningful growth opportunities in FY19 and future years.
The Board maintains the following policies to maximise revenue and long- term value in the company:
- Emphasis on maximising opportunities by concentrating the Group’s marketing and sales efforts on acquiring and developing business relationships with large scale customers which have both the desire and potential of rolling out digital signage in multiple locations;
- Improve the Group’s recurring revenue streams through different managed service offerings;
- Maintain the emphasis on proprietary products such as MediaZest Retail Analytics which can generate intellectual property in the statement of financial position and provide ongoing sustainable revenue streams; and
- Market the Group’s ‘one stop shop’ positioning to a wide range of global retailers in conjunction with existing partners and to continue to grow the number of overseas deployments.
Furthermore, the Group has agreed to work more closely with one of its significant supplier partners, Samsung UK. As one of a handful of “Growth Engine Partners” selected by Samsung UK, the two companies are working on certain joint marketing activities that the Board hopes will lead to further mutual substantial opportunities in the next 12 months.
The growth in activity in audio visual retail markets currently being experienced by many companies in the sector is also leading to further corporate opportunities. The Board’s view is that the acceleration of growth by way of merger and/or acquisition is a strategy that should be considered at this time and is evaluating several such opportunities whilst remaining open to other options.
FUNDRAISING DURING THE PERIOD
On 13 February 2018, the Company made a successful placing of 46,668,000 shares at 0.15p per share to raise £70,000 before expenses. The shares were admitted to trading on AIM in February 2018.
The reasons for this placing were twofold:
The Company is becoming more focused on dealing with large, complex, global organisations. This has led to a need to keep a proportion of operating cashflow earmarked for deposit purposes with suppliers. In order to take full advantage of two specific opportunities, the Board set aside some of these funds raised for this purpose.
In addition, as noted above, the Board believes that there are strategic growth opportunities that should be explored and an element of the Placing funds has been set aside for this accordingly.
Due to the dilutive nature of fund raising at the current share price, the Board limited the amount raised to cover these two requirements only.
Although there has been much recent progress in business structure terms, the Board recognises that financial results need to improve and is looking to achieve this in FY19, particularly with the strong start to the first quarter.
Although the project delays have been particularly frustrating in FY18, all three will fall within the first half of FY19 and as a result, in tandem with growing contractual revenues, the Group expects to make substantial progress in financial performance at both Group and operational levels for the period ending 30 September 2019 versus the corresponding prior year period. Unaudited management accounts to 31 May 2018 (the first two months of the new financial year FY19) already show turnover of £662,000 and profit at Group level of £37,000 (profit in the operational company £105,000) which is a significant improvement on the previous year.
New projects for HP, Mitsubishi (at Lakeside shopping centre) and Ford (opened 16th July at Next in Manchester Arndale Centre) have been well received. The increased level of recurring revenue contracts is also expected to assist in achieving improved financial performance and to provide both greater predictability, visibility and quality of revenue.
New business activity continues to be brisk and the Board expect to announce further significant contract wins in due course.
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