Neovia's Board satisfied with its Q1 results

Neovia plc's full year results to December 31 2008 were published this week, and will do little to cheer investors. Indeed, as the Board commented: "Nonetheless, the Board is not fully satisfied with the Group’s progress towards its strategic aims. Trading in the year to date has been disappointing and reflects a weakening trend in Europe, due to an increasingly competitive market, challenging economic conditions, volatile currency markets and limitations in new product introductions."

* Group revenue was up 9 percent at $ 75.6 million - excluding North America (2007: $ 69.1 million)

* Fee revenue (excluding North America) was a bright spot with a rise of 26 percent to $ 69.5 million in 2008

* Gross margin improved 6.2 percent to 61.8 percent in 2008 due to cost management

* Profit before tax and other items improved at $ 6.4 million vs. 2007's loss $ 12.8 million

* Total group cash was $ 82.3 million at 31 December 2008

The Board has withheld a dividend as it seeks to preserve cash to retain financial flexibility.

Key Performance Indicators over the year included:

* Active e-wallet users (exc North America) totalled 97 673 in Q4 2008 were down compared to Q4 2007's 99 984

* However, E-wallet fee revenue per active e-wallet user increased to $ 128 for 2008 (2007: US$ 111)

* Average daily sign ups were more-or-less static at 981 for 2008 (2007: 985); and

* Average daily receipts reached $ 457 442 for 2008, well down from 2007's $ 656 809 (including North American receipts).

Neovia chairman Dale Johnson commented: “During 2008 progress was made by the NEOVIA Group in building the foundations to be a pre-eminent provider of bold online payment solutions to selected e-commerce communities. Creditable financial performance was achieved, in line with market expectations, despite a sharp deterioration in economic conditions worldwide. While the Board remains confident about the Group’s prospects, the overarching themes for 2009 will be leveraging high potential initiatives, cost control and prudent cash management.”

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