Aware and secunet report earnings and new biometric border control deployments
Aware has reported a decrease in revenue over the first three months of fiscal 2020 due to lower biometrics services revenue being only partly offset by higher software license revenue.
A license agreement with a systems integrator entered into in mid-2018 delivered lower service revenues and the company had fewer service contracts overall.
The company made $3.5 million in revenue in Q1 2020, down from $3.7 million in the first quarter of last year. Quarterly operating loss increased from $44,000 last year to $1.3 million. Net loss for the first quarter was $1.1 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, compared to net income of $228,000, or $0.01 per diluted share in the same period of 2019.
“The first quarter of 2020 has been an eventful quarter,” comments Aware CEO and President Bob Eckel. “We were pleased at the beginning of the quarter to secure an order with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for our CaptureSuite solution while also completing agreements with a significant international identity solutions integrator as well as another large customer in Latin America.”
Aware employees have maintained operations and supported existing customers while working from home, though sales and marketing operations have been affected, however.
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to impact Aware’s revenue for the next several quarters, but Eckel remains optimistic about the company’s long-term prospects.
In other company news, CaptureSuite has been selected by a European government customer for deployment at its borders.
CaptureSuite includes three Aware fingerprint SDKs that apply a variety of algorithms to assure print quality regardless of the device used for capture. Integrating the fingerprint capture software from Aware enables the border agency to quickly acquire fingerprint images for people entering the country, optimizing image quality while minimizing queue buildup, according to the announcement.
“Aware has been a trusted biometric vendor to important European countries for many years,” Eckel says in the announcement. “We are proud to continue our mission to assist our government partners to protect their sovereign borders with a modern, optimized, fingerprint capture system.”
secunet reports eGates installation, record earnings and confirms 2020 forecast
Elsewhere in the border control segment, four easygates from secunet have been installed at the Röszke border between Hungary and Serbia to speed identity checks and prepare for the introduction of the European Entry/Exit System (EES).
The eGates were installed through secunet’s partnership with Adaptive Recognition Hungary (ARH), and mark the first automated border control (ABC) system at a bus terminal in the Schengen area, according to the announcement.
The Röszke border is an external border for the Schengen area, and implementing the easygates for electronic document and facial biometric checks allows travelers entitled to free movement in the Schengen area to utilize a self-service biometric screening process, while border control officials concentrate on passengers who require further checks.
In early 2019, 14 secunet easygates were deployed by Hungarian authorities at a pair of international airports.
secunet has also announced record earnings results for the sixth year in a row, with revenues increasing from €163.3 million (US$177.4 million) in full-year 2018 to €226.9 million ($246.5 million) for 2019, a 39 percent increase.
Between improved results and good liquidity, the company plans to distribute a dividend, though the 2020 forecast is uncertain due to the pandemic.
Sales were up over the past year in both the public and private sector sides of the business, with stronger growth among business customers. Healthcare solution secunet konnektor expanded the company’s market reach, underpinning an increase of business sector revenues of more than three times.
EBIT income increased by 23 percent, and net income for the year grew from €14.7 million in 2018 to €20.2 million.
Secunet has postponed its Annual General Meeting from May 20, 2020 to a tentative date of July 8, 2020.
“The 2019 financial year was a record year. The sustained growth confirms our profitable strategy of focusing on high-quality and trustworthy IT security,” says Axel Deininger, CEO of secunet Security Networks AG. “There is a fundamentally sound basis for the good development of business in 2020. However, the current financial year will be challenging.”
Not only is consistently surpassing record-high results difficult, secunet’s order book is also down 2 percent from the prior year as of year-end 2019.
In an update since the results were announced, secunet confirmed that Q1 2020 earnings and sales are below the comparable figures for 2019. The company has a very high backlog of orders, however, and its forecast for fiscal 2020 is unchanged.
Earnings declined from €40.4 million ($43.9 million) to €32.6 million ($35.4 million) and EBIT fell from €2.4 million in Q1 2019 to €0.0 million. Order volume, however, reached a high of €115.2 million ($125.2 million), with a backlog caused by incoming orders for secure mobile technology, in particular for the SINA Workstation, and an order to replace healthcare connectors for Telekom.