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Biometric pay, access products disappoint reorganizing and fundraising FPC

Biometric pay, access products disappoint reorganizing and fundraising FPC

Second-quarter numbers for biometrics sensor maker Fingerprint Cards show strength in a few areas, including mobile-systems sales and cash flow. That’s good because sales of biometric payment and access products are not pulling their weight.

The company also has reorganized, creating four new units that executives hope will help focus efforts and flush out more revenue.

The four new units within the company will focus on finding new business partners, corporate acquisitions, opportunities to monetize its patent portfolio and developing new automotive systems.

Fingerprint Cards reported its January-through-June financial performance, which while mixed, can be better defined as still troubling rather than recovering.

For example, year-over-year quarterly revenue dropped by 11 percent, but the first-half pace of losses was almost four times that figure – 39 percent.

(Acting CEO Ted Hansson prefers to compare the second quarter’s revenue to the first quarter of 2023 and in terms of constant currency — a 74 percent increase . Adam Philpott takes over at the top September 1.)

Gross second-quarter profit fell 63 percent in slack industry conditions, little better than the 64 percent fall notched for the first half.

Looking at Q2 fundamental comparables, Fingerprint Cards reported a Q2 gross profit of 26.6 million Swedish kroner (US$2.64 million), or SEK -0.18 ($0.018) per basic and diluted share, on revenue of SEK 203.3 million ($2 million). This compares with a gross profit of SEK 70.9 million ($7 million), or SEK -0.03 ($0.003) per share, on revenue of SEK 228.1 million ($22.62 million).

Not unexpectedly, comparing first-half fundaments shows more drops.

Gross profit for the half ended in June was SEK 46.9 million ($4.53 million), or SEK -0.35 ($0.035) per share, on revenue of SEK 320.3 million ($30.94 million). This compares to gross profit SEK 132.1 million, SEK -0.12 ($0.012), on revenue of SEK 528.3 million ($51.03 million).

Q2 gross margin was 13.1 percent, an 18 percent fall compared to 31.1 percent at the end of the same period last year. The first-half margin was 25 percent, 10 percent down from the 19.3 percent recorded a year ago.

Looking beyond core figures, cash flow was a bright spot. Aided by lower inventories, Q2 cash flow from operating activity rose smartly year over year, totaling SEK 52.4 million ($5.2 million) compared to SEK -28.3 million ($2.81 million) last year.

Second-quarter cash flow improvement in the quarter was strong enough, in fact, to lift the first six months into the black. Year-over-year cash flow through June 30 was SEK 10.1 million ($980,000), compared to SEK -118.6 million ($11.46 million) over the first half of fiscal 2022.

The company’s overall financial position, however, was improved significantly by raising SEK 340 million ($32.7 million), with additional options that could bring in a further SEK 90 million ($8.66 million), Hansson says. The funding was raised through SEK 180 million ($17.3 million) in rights issues of B-shares, SEK 3.4 million ($330,000) from rights issues of A-shares, and an SEK 160 million ($15.39 million) convertible bond subscription by Heights Capital Management.

FPC has used some of the funds to redeem an outstanding bond loan of SEK 300 million ($28.85 million).

In a statement accompanying the financial, Hansson played down the disappointing numbers for biometric payment and access operations, saying that industry segment is immature, “tends to be more uneven” and is more apt to “fluctuate in the short term.”

He points out as a portent of better things that, in the second quarter, Fingerprint Cards booked a $1 million sale, its biggest-ever transaction in the sector with a buyer outside Asia.

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