Neovia expects to meet forecast

The e-cash processor Neovia Financial plc issued a first-half 2009 trading update as the week closed, reporting the following highlights:

* Expectation that the group results due for publication September will be in line with forecasts.

* Quarter-on-quarter increase in active customers with 3 percent growth in second quarter 2009.

* Quarter-on-quarter improvement in gross margins.

The directorate advised that it anticipated announcing the appointment of a new CEO soon, following the resignation of Ron Martin (see previous InfoPowa report). The new incumbent will take up his responsibilities in September this year.

Overall, the group continued its promising start to 2009 with the second quarter on track despite the ongoing challenging economic conditions Consequently, the Board expects to report an operating result for the first six months of 2009 in line with market expectations. Nevertheless, the challenging market conditions experienced by the Group and other related companies in the first quarter of 2009 have continued into the second quarter, leading to a decrease, as anticipated, in revenues in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008.

On the brighter side, the group has seen a quarter-on-quarter increase in active customers, growing by 3 percent compared to Q1 2009. This is an encouraging trend considering both macro-economic conditions and the fact that the second quarter has traditionally exhibited slower growth than the first.

While gross margin in H1 2009 will be lower than the same period of 2008, the second quarter of 2009 will be ahead of the first quarter’s gross margin as the Neovia’s focus on cost control continues to show results. The group’s results for the first six months of 2009 will reflect a number of unspecified non-recurring items which in total are expected to amount to approximately US$7 million.

The Board has identified a new group CEO and expects to announce his appointment shortly. It is anticipated that he will join the group in early September 2009.

Chairman Dale Johnson commented: “The Board and management team remain focused on maximising revenues, maintaining control over costs, delivering a capital programme to support the strategy for the future, and preserving cash to deliver value for all shareholders.”

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