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Immotion was gaining "significant traction" before the coronavirus outbreak

“The totally unexpected pandemic should not overshadow the achievements of 2019, a year of considerable progress for Immotion."

Immotion Group -

Immotion Group PLC (LON:IMMO), the immersive virtual reality (VR) out-of-home entertainment business, said the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has temporarily checked its strong momentum.

In its results statement for 2019, the company said by the end of last year it had increased the number of its installed headsets to 303 from 158 at the end of 2018, and the number has since increased to 332, with a further 122 headset installations in the pipeline.

Based on the expected performance in normal pre-COVID-19 trading conditions, this portfolio would, fully installed, have delivered monthly EBITDA (underlying earnings) profit and positive operating cash flow based on the company’s cash operating costs pre-COVID-19.

Lockdown restrictions upset the apple-cart but with these now being eased around the world the company is set to resume headset installations, although the rate at which this happens will depend on site re-openings, footfall levels, social distancing requirements and the overall level of public confidence as lockdowns are lifted.

Total revenue in 2019 rose to £3.62mln from £2.85mln in 2018, of which £3.61mln (2018: £1.95mln) came from continuing operations.

Revenue from VR activities surged to £2.93mln in 2019 from £1.33mln in 2018.

The firm’s underlying EBITDA loss of £2.46mln was in line with expectations. The loss before tax was £5.53mln, versus a loss in 2018 of £3.81mln.

“The totally unexpected pandemic should not overshadow the achievements of 2019, a year of considerable progress for Immotion. Our business had begun to develop scale and, having invested heavily in proprietary content, software development and installations into partner sites, profitability and positive operating cash flow were in clear sight,” declared Sir Robin Miller, the non-executive chairman of Immotion.

When things get back to normal, chief executive Martin Higginson believes there is a huge opportunity on a global basis across aquariums, zoos, science centres, museums and other selected high traffic entertainment destinations.

Higginson said the company’s decision to focus on working with partners was fully vindicated by progress up to the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Our partner offering gained significant traction in the USA and Europe and revenue grew strongly. Our ImmotionVR sites also traded well, though we do not intend to grow this part of our business due to the significantly greater returns seen from our partner estate,” Higginson said.

“The period since mid-March has been extremely challenging and we expect continued disruption for some time to come. We will remain focused on costs and working with key partners as the recovery takes hold. We believe we have built the foundations of a valuable business and we will do all we can to emerge from the other side of the current crisis,” the company’s statement said.

Quick facts: Immotion Group

Price: 3.28 GBX

AIM:IMMO
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £12.45 m
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