Accesso Technology (ACSO) spent 2016 ploughing cash into wearable technology, as well as scaling up its existing ticketing platform for major new client Merlin Entertainments (MERL). This meant its research and development expenditure increased to almost 18 per cent of revenue, compared with 13 per cent the previous year. However, the rewards were a 25 per cent increase in underlying operating profit to $15.7m (£12.6m).
The group's Accesso Passport ticketing platform increased sales volumes by 30 per cent, as it was extended across more Merlin attractions. It also won new clients, including the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. Concentrating on this higher-margin ticketing work lifted gross profit margins to 53.9 per cent, from 49.4 per cent a year earlier.
Queueing products business Accesso LoQueue launched its smart-park wearable device Prism in November, which will be rolled out at a North American theme park during the summer. The Asia-Pacific region continued to be a focus for expanding the group's client base. The queueing platform was installed at Wet'n'Wild in Sydney. Meanwhile point-of-sale and guest management software Siriusware expanded beyond its core skiing client base, launching in Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Analysts at Numis expect 2017 adjusted pre-tax profits of $16.7m, giving EPS of 58.1¢ (from $15.3m and 51.5¢ in 2016).
ACCESSO TECHNOLOGY (ACSO)
|ORD PRICE:||1,580p||MARKET VALUE:||£352m|
|TOUCH:||1,550-1,610p||12-MONTH HIGH:||1,718p||LOW: 978p|
|DIVIDEND YIELD:||nil||PE RATIO:||58|
|NET ASSET VALUE:||349¢*||NET DEBT:||4%|
|Year to 31 Oct||Turnover (£m)||Pre-tax profit (£m)||Earnings per share (p)||Dividend per share (p)|
|Year to 31 Dec||Turnover ($m)||Pre-tax profit ($m)||Earnings per share (¢)||Dividend per share (¢)|
*Includes intangible assets of £82m, or 366¢ a share **14-month period £1=$1.25