Next Biometrics books first purchase order for PIV-certified fingerprint sensor and reports 2019 earnings
Next Biometrics has announced the first purchase order for its One Touch 2000 large-size FAP20 biometrics sensor from Newland Payment Technology for integration in fingerprint payment terminals, and also released its fourth quarter and full-year 2019 financial results.
Newland Payment Technology reached a supply agreement with Next just under a year ago, and intends to deploy the Norwegian company’s sensors in terminals as part of the financial inclusion strategy of an undisclosed national bank outside of China.
“We are pleased to announce the first commercial order for our uniquely positioned large PIV certified fingerprint sensor,” said Peter Heuman, CEO of NEXT Biometrics. “This first order will not have a significant revenue impact, but it is a strong proof-point of our customer focus and technology edge. The FAP20 sensor is subject to strong customer interest and we expect to see additional commercial orders during 2020.”
The One Touch 2000 was recently certified by the FBI for compliance with its Next Generation Identification (NGI) Image Quality Specifications (IQS) following a review by the bureau’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division.
Next Biometrics reported revenue of NOK 84.4 million (roughly US$9.1 million) last year, down 22 percent from the previous year, after recording NOK 9.2 million ($1 million) in revenue during Q4, which was off from Q4 2018 by 68 percent.
Revenues so far in the first period of 2020 have already exceeded those of Q4 2019, however. The company received an order from India worth $750,000 in January.
“We continued to see the revenue impact of our largest customer reducing sensor purchases in the fourth quarter as expected,” Heuman comments. “To offset this, we reduced headcount, made cost avoidance and lowered indirect costs substantially during the quarter. At the same time, we are working closer with both existing and potential new customers and have at year-end built a much stronger sales funnel. We have also received PIV certification of our promising FAP20 sensor. With a stronger sales focus we have also started to convert increased activity in India into revenues. With a more customer centric organization operating at lower cost, I´m confident we will deliver more orders and revenue during 2020.”
Reduced sales volume and product mix during the previous quarter pulled Next Biometrics gross margin down to negative 2 percent, from 36 percent in the same quarter a year ago. For full-year 2019, however, gross margin was only slightly lower (24 percent) than in 2018 (28 percent). Likewise, EBITDA excluding options was negative NOK 149.9 million ($16.1 million), a near repeat of a loss of NOK 149.5 million ($16.05 million) in 2018.
Former Precise Biometrics CEO Håkan Persson also recently joined Next Biometrics as its head of sales and strategy.