Vianet swings to loss as hospitality customers closed by pandemic

(Alliance News) - Vianet Group PLC, which serves the Covid-hit hospitality and leisure sectors, ...

Alliance News 15 June, 2021 | 10:28AM
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(Alliance News) - Vianet Group PLC, which serves the Covid-hit hospitality and leisure sectors, swung to a loss in its recently financial year as revenue nearly halved.

Vianet is based in Stockton-on-Tees, England. It provides devices to customer-facing business to collect sales and volume data that is integrated on a cloud-based internet-of-things platform. The technology was first used to measure the flow of draught beer in pubs, but now is applied to gaming machines and elsewhere.

Vianet swung to a pretax loss of GBP2.8 million in the financial year that ended March 31 from a GBP2.4 million profit, as revenue fell by 48% to GBP8.4 million from GBP16.3 million. It blamed the impact of the virus pandemic on its clients.

More positively, Vianet said its adjusted operating loss, which excludes exceptional costs, amortisation and share-based payment, was limited to GBP690,000, swung from a GBP4.0 million profit on the same basis in financial 2020. As well, gross margin remained "robust" at 60%, narrowed from 68% the year before.

Vianet said it will pay no dividend for the year in order to conserve cash, compared to 1.70 pence per share in financial 2020. During the recent year, net debt grew to GBP2.7 million from GBP950,000.

Vianet operates in two divisions. Its Smart Zones division represents the core beer monitoring and data insight business services, including its US business. The division suffered the biggest hit from Covid-19. Revenue in the recent year plunged to GBP4.0 million from GBP11.1 million.

Less damaged was the Smart Machines business, which offers telemetry monitoring and contactless payment in the unattended vending retail and coffee sector. There, revenue declined 18% to GBP4.4 million from GBP5.2 million, as many machines continued to operate throughout the pandemic.

"As a business dependent on the hospitality and leisure sectors, the pandemic has been a challenging period for the company," said Chair James Dickson. "Despite this, we have navigated the challenges well, focusing on preserving cash and maintaining strong relations with our customers."

He said that, with the easing of lockdown restrictions and the roll-out of vaccines, Vianet expects normal trading to return during the second half of its new financial year.

Vianet shares were down 6.8% at 93.64 pence on Tuesday morning in London.

By Tom Waite; thomaslwaite@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
Vianet Group PLC 101.50 GBX 0.00 -

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