Accesso Technology readies for new normal in theme parks

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With customers now deploying multiple accesso solutions on an integrated basis and a lengthy company sale process in the rear-view mirror, I am generally optimistic about the future

Chief executive, Steve Brown

What accesso Technology does

accesso Technology Group PLC (LON:ACSO) is an AIM-listed firm providing ticketing e-commerce, virtual queuing and guest experience solutions.

The company has active subsidiary companies in several countries, including the USA and Canada, and operates in the leisure, entertainment and cultural markets for customers as varied as Village Roadshow, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Merlin Entertainments.

How it’s doing

Revenue in the half-year to end June 2020 was US$24.6mln (US$50.7mln) as the company faced enforced venue closures from March onwards, though the outcome was ahead of its earlier expectations, the AIM-listed company said.

Going forward, accesso noted that nearly 80% of passport and 60% of LoQueue customer venues had reopened, while it has won several new contracts in the ski sector ahead of the winter season.

“Assuming market conditions do not deteriorate, we expect revenue for the full year 2020 to be not less than $48mln,” the group said in its half-year statement.

What the boss says; Steve Brown

“During the first half of 2020 we have been successful in managing accesso through the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing the business to navigate through further uncertainty.

“While the pandemic does continue to impact our end-markets, we are now seeing a significant number of operators reopening their doors at reduced capacity.”

Inflexion points

  • Steve Brown returned to the company as CEO in late January
  • Raised GBP39mln in placing and open offer in June
  • Virtual queuing technology set for major boost due to coronavirus restrictions

What the broker says

accesso put in a resilient performance especially on the cash front in the first half of the year, according to broker Peel Hunt.

Revenue in the six months to June was ahead of the broker’s own estimate of our US$17.7mln estimate but it was the cash performance that impressed.

accesso’s steadfast focus on reducing monthly costs and stronger gross margins due to product mix meant net cash ended on US$30.8mln (US$56mln gross), it said.

Stripping out the $46mln raised in May, net debt would have been $15.2mln or in line with the first half of last year, added the broker.

“This is extraordinary and is despite Covid-19’s impact on revenues, refunds it processed due to closures, and the fact that June is a high point from a net debt perspective.”

Peel Hunt’s target price is 389p.

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