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LoopUp shares have quadrupled over the past two years as sales continue to soar

The acquisition of MeetingZone earlier this year has been called “transformational” by LoopUp bosses
remote meeting
LoopUp joined AIM in August 2016 when it issued shares at 100p

If you’d invested in remote meetings technology firm LoopUp Group PLC (LON:LOOP) back in August 2016 when it listed, you’d be sitting on a pretty pile of cash now.

It was floated at a pound a pop back then and was up to 175p within a year. The share price currently sits comfortably above 400p, helped by soaring profits over the past 18 months.

Sales surged by 39% to £12.0mln in the opening six months of 2018 (H1 17: £8.7mln), while organic revenues also picked up, climbing to 77.2% (H1 17: 76.8%).

READ: LoopUp enjoys stellar first half as new acquisition dials in

At 22%, organic growth (which strips out the impact of acquisitions or disposals) was far from poor in the first half, but one of the big drivers of total revenue growth was the June acquisition of MeetingZone.

LoopUp forked out £61.4mln for the UK-based firm, which sells its own stand-alone audio conferencing services, resells Cisco's WebEx and Spark collaboration services, and also offers a value-added audio services product for Microsoft Skype for Business.

Bosses have hailed the acquisition as “transformational” for the AIM-quoted company, having brought a “material increase in scale” to the group.

READ: LoopUp snaps up MeetingZone

It’s settling in better than expected as well. LoopUp’s management had initially expected the new purchase to generate cost savings of approximately £0.5mln this year and at least £2.8mln in 2019.

“The board is now pleased to report that it expects to deliver cost savings greater than previously stated and on a quicker timescale,” read a statement this morning.

The company is now forecasting savings of £1.3mln and £3.2mln in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The one-off cost associated with implementing these cost savings remains at around £1mln.

‘Transformational six months’

“This has been a transformational period for the group,” said co-chief executives Steve Flavell and Michael Hughes.

“The reorganisation of the combined group has progressed ahead of schedule. This has freed up additional cash to reinvest in the business to drive organic growth through the expansion of LoopUp pods and our marketing activity, in both existing and new geographic markets.”

“Looking ahead, we continue to see excellent demand for the LoopUp product and we remain confident in our ability to deliver strong future growth and meet market expectations.”

Helping to underpin those expectations is the firm’s Australian unit. The sales teams there have been un “pipeline-build mode” over the past six months, but 20 new accounts have now been closed and are ready for rollout in the second half of the year.

At the end of June, the group held £5.8mln in cash and had net debt of £11.2mln. The full set of interim results are due to be published on September 26 2018.

The only way is LoopUp

In a nutshell, the company’s core product aims to make audio conferencing a whole lot simpler, and more productive.

It is estimated that 13 minutes – or around a third of these sessions – are wasted trying to patch people or repeating information for the late-comers.

It is an irritant, but if you look at the impact on an international scale and frame it in terms of lost man-hours, then it adds up to a £14bn-a-year brake on productivity in the UK and US alone, so the company is addressing a potentially massive market.

Sure, there are alternative communications platforms out there developed by software firms and telecommunication companies, but they either fail to address the familiar chaos or are just too complicated to encourage widespread adoption. LoopUp, on the other hand, thinks its system has cracked the problem.

READ: LoopUp's price target whacked up to 600p by City broker

Using Microsoft Outlook it takes just two clicks to organise a meeting and LoopUp sends out alerts to the host when their first guest joins the meeting.

It uses traditional telephony supplied by tier-one operators across four centres globally, but dial-in numbers aren’t the preferred method for joining LoopUp meetings.

Rather, you simply click a link displayed on your computer, smartphone and tablet, and LoopUp then calls you on the phone of your choice.

Onscreen is displayed the participants – so you know who is there and who exactly is talking.

Users can even share biographical details via LinkedIn and there is a “big, orange, Fisher Price-type button” on the desktop that allows them to share documents and presentations.

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LoopUp Group PLC Timeline

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