Fingerprint Cards’ revenues up as new biometric products and markets come online
Fingerprint Cards revenues increased by 18 percent in the first quarter of 2019, compared to a year earlier, to SEK 342.9 million (US$35.6 million) as the company reported broad improvement in its financial results.
In his comments on the earnings report, CEO Christian Fredrikson reveals that the company is planning a new sensor generation based on its FPC1511 sensor, which has been integrated into many smartphones and other devices since it was launched last June, and will be a major part of Fingerprint Cards’ portfolio of capacitive sensors for 2019. The generational change to FPC1511 should also drive higher profitability for the company Fredrikson says.
The company reports a gross margin of 23 percent in the quarter, up from 15 percent a year ago, and its EBITDA rose from a loss of SEK 148.7 million ($15.5 million) in Q1 last year to a gain of SEK 35.8 million ($3.7). Despite this, Fingerprint Cards recorded an operating loss of SEK 1.9 million ($200,000). This still reflects a major improvement in operating results over last year’s negative SEK 174.9 million ($18.2 million).
Highlights during the quarter included the launch of the company’s new in-display fingerprint sensor, the FPC1610, which Fredrikson says is currently in testing with OEMs, and receiving positive response. Fingerprint Cards also received the first volume order of fingerprint sensors for dual interface payment cards through a partnership with Gemalto. Increased testing activity is expected, but with modest volumes through 2019 before a broader commercial launch in 2020.
“This testifies to the strength of our offering. Fingerprints is very well positioned to capture a significant share of this emerging market,” Fredrikson says. “If we look at the market trials conducted to date in the world, we can see that Fingerprints’ solutions are included in all of the tests of contactless biometric cards. During the first quarter, further market tests were initiated, and I anticipate increased activity during the year with a significant number of tests. However, the business volumes will be modest in 2019, but we expect to see a broader commercial launch in 2020.”
“Sales in the new areas of application for our technology are continuing to develop well, not least in locks and access systems, where Fingerprints’ market position is strong,” he continues. “The share of sales from products outside of the smartphone area is continuing to increase.”
Fingerprint Cards recently surpassed one billion sensors shipped, and Fredrikson says it delivers seven sensors every second year-round.