Friday, October 24, 2014

Lo-Q on the fast track

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Theme park queue-busting specialist Lo-Q (LON:LOQ) stepped it up last year, with a sharp acceleration in earnings per share (EPS) growth.

Profit before tax in the year to November 4 was £3.2mln, up 16.7% from £2.7mln the year before, on revenue that rose 18.7% to £29.1mln.

EPS rose 26.2% to 14.6p from 11.5p the year before and was ahead of market expectations of 13.65p.

The group ended the financial year with net cash of £8.9mln, up 18.9% from £7.5mln a year earlier.

“The strength of our products and their clear end-market appeal has enabled us to continue to drive sales across all segments, securing not only landmark wins for our newest smartphone based system, but also retaining the trust and confidence of some of our longest-held customers,” said Tom Burnett, chief executive of Lo-Q.

“In previous years I have used these reports to talk of my excitement and confidence in the year ahead. Such sentiment is particularly true this year, with the transformational acquisition of accesso complete and the technology, operations and sales synergies we expected already beginning to prove evident. I have great confidence in the abilities of our expanded team and in our prospects for the months ahead,” Burnett added.

John Weston, chairman of the company, said the integration of accesso, which supplies ticketing solutions for theme parks, water parks, zoos and cultural attractions across North America, presents the group with new challenges but progress with sales is already showing through.

“With geographical expansion on the horizon, new parks still to install and a fresh, powerful product range to market, 2013 promises to contain additional exciting opportunities for Lo-Q,” Weston said.

The group revealed today that it has agreed a new banking facility with Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The £4.75mln (US$7.5mln) debt facility will refinance the £4.0mln convertible loan note issued as part of the company’s recent acquisition of accesso.

The new facility has been agreed at a rate of 1.5 percentage points above LIBOR and is due to expire in February 2017, including step downs over the four-year period.

The deal will also see Lo-Q moving all its UK banking to Lloyds.

“It is a testament to the company’s robust financial position that we have been able to access debt on such positive terms as well as gaining additional funding. These together provide a more efficient capital structure to deliver further value to shareholders and reinforce future growth prospects,” said John Alder, chief financial officer of Lo-Q.

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