The Board of Directors of the Company (the “Board”) is pleased to provide the following trading statement and update on recent developments.
The payments division is pleased to report improved trading through July, with non-card related GBP and EURO activity improving 118% and 54% respectively. Still growing from a relatively low base the Company will continue to monitor the data closely and develop a more meaningful data set as patterns in growth emerge over the coming months.
In card payment services, Prepaid Card Products have been steady with a 2% increase in active customers, with a 50% growth in spend volume across active users.
The merchant services team have two acquiring pipelines active, one focused on high risk merchants and the other on medium risk and start-ups, the first clients will go live over the next few weeks and the Company looks forward to reporting on the progress by the end of its third quarter.
The impact of COVID-19 continues to disrupt visits to potential merchants. However, we expect client visits to return to normal as the restrictions on movement and social distancing are relaxed over the coming weeks.
As COVID-19 pandemic measures continue to be eased, Prize Provision Services Ltd (“PPS”) has seen the number of entries into the lotteries it administers stabilise, and remains confident of an overall increase in entries during the second half of the year.
As the charity sector returns to normal and begins to evaluate fundraising methods, it is anticipated that lotteries will rank highly as reliable and robust fundraising methods. Lincoln City FC is one such client who have already re-focussed on their Academy’s fundraising and seen the launch of Imps Lottery, www.impslottery.com which offers supporters the chance to win match hospitality, match tickets and signed shirts alongside cash prizes. The club has a raft of activity planned and PPS management are hopeful that the lottery will prove popular within the Lincolnshire area.
Astro Kings, the joint venture 5-a-side football centre located in Nottingham, fully reopened in line with Government and FA guidance on 18 July 2020 and has seen pitch occupancy levels return to the levels which were projected for this time of year. COVID-19 restrictions did reduce revenue at the venue but did not have a material impact on the group. While a second wave or local lockdown could affect the venue, it is not expected that this would have a material impact on the Group.
Following the successful completion of the financing announced on 30 June 2020, the Group’s working capital position has improved significantly, and, when combined with the current trading position outlined above, does, the Board believes, bode well for the future. However, concerns over the wider economic environment, as outlined in last week’s economic forecast by the Bank of England, is to be carefully monitored, and the Board is approaching the second half of the financial year with caution, conserving the Group’s financial resources wherever possible. Some early indications suggest that the challenges facing a number of businesses are creating new opportunities for the Payments Division, but the Board expects to have a clearer understanding of this by the end of the Company’s third quarter.
Graeme Paton, Chief Executive, commented, “The summer months are currently proving to be encouraging from a trading perspective, as many businesses and organisations review their service providers in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic. While we remain cautious regarding the wider economy, we are hopeful of continued improvement in the Group’s trading over the remainder of the financial year.”
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