Tuesday 12 December 2017

Profits up at software firm Escher

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

PROFITS gained at Dublin-based software provider Escher in the first half of the year, but the company remains reliant on a single deal with the US Postal Service.

Escher, the group behind An Post iTunes cards, saw sales jump by 48pc to $12.9m in the period while earnings before tax, interest and amortisation were up 28pc to $2.4m.

However much of this came from a single contract with the US Postal Service. Servicing revenue doubled to around $6m almost entirely thanks to the implementation of the USPS deal.

“The statement highlights that the group’s financial performance for the year is largely dependent on the recognition of licence revenue coming from the USPS contract ($8m approx. due in H2)” said Dublin stockbrokers Goodbody.

The Americas was the company’s most important market by far during the period, followed by the rest of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific region. Just $292,000 worth of its $12.9m sales came from its UK and Ireland operation.

The company’s management recorded significant interest in its Riposte system during the results period. The point-of-sale technology, through which An Post sells iTunes gift cards, was short-listed for a number of Government tenders which have the potential to generate revenue in 2014 but will require further investment in the medium term.

Escher said it is looking at eight or nine opportunities in this area compared with one or two a year ago.

The company’s net debt was $4.64m as of the end of June. It said it paid back $1.96m towards a Bank of Ireland term loan in January, meaning the outstanding balance on that facility is now $8.06m.

Its share price was up 5pc in early trading this morning, to £2.70.



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