Accesso Technology PLC (LON:ACSO) has guided towards 2019 organic growth similar to that seen in 2018, in-line with consensus expectations, as it posted strong underlying full-year earnings and revealed plans to increase investment.
The AIM-listed ticketing, guest experience and queuing solutions provider reported 36.5% growth in adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) to US$34.8mln for the year ended 31 December 2018, as revenue increased by 15.5% to US$118.7mln.
The group pointed out that the results were stated before one-off exceptional costs of approximately US$1.7mln, relating to professional fees associated with a significant and well-advanced acquisition opportunity, which was ultimately terminated by Accesso’s board in October 2018.
The company saw organic revenue growth of 7.8% - excluding the impact of 2017 acquisitions - supported by the continuation of a strong Ticketing and Distribution performance, up 18.3%, although Guest Experience revenue declined 11% due to weather and changing park visitation patterns.
Accesso ended the full-year with net cash of US$0.5mln and said it has entered 2019 in good health, with strong positions in its chosen markets and established customer relationships.
Paul Noland, Accesso’s chief executive officer commented: "2018 has been another year of global expansion at Accesso. Our progress continues to be driven by the variety of solutions we have to offer and our relentless focus on delivering excellent service and support.”
He added: “Our customers are asking us to bring even more flexibility, integration and scalability to the products and services we offer. As such, and in order to accelerate future growth, we will invest where necessary to maintain our market leadership and to ensure we capitalise on customer demand for our products, as either an integrated or as an individual solution."
Increased investment as expected for Peel Hunt
In a note to clients, analysts at Peel Hunt said: “The company has heightened its investment to provide accelerated performance from 2020 onwards.
“It will see an increase in its investment for 2019 of between $7mln-$10mln, to between $36mln-$39mln, to focus on its newly estimated $3.4bn addressable market.”
They pointed out that they already have investments of $40mln marked in after downgrading its numbers for Accesso, while the amount to be capitalised will be 60-65%, in-line with their 63%.estimate.
The analysts said they will retain an ‘add’ rating on Accesso for the time being and a target price of 1,200p, with the shares currently trading at 740p, down 13% on Tuesday’s close.
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