30 June 2020
Vianet Group plc
("Vianet", "Company" or "the Group")
Vianet Group plc (AIM: VNET), the international provider of actionable data and business insight through devices connected to its Internet of Things platform ("IOT"), will be holding its Annual General Meeting ("AGM") today at 11.00 a.m. at the offices of Vianet Group plc, One Surtees Way, Surtees Business Park, Stockton on Tees, TS18 3HR.
As announced in the Company's Final Results on 2 June 2020, in alignment to the UK Government's Covid-19 ("C19") measures, the AGM is being held as a 'closed meeting' with a quorum of two and other shareholders will not be able to attend in person. Votes will be taken as a poll which will include all the proxy votes submitted in accordance with the notice of AGM.
James Dickson, Chairman, will provide the following trading update at today's meeting:
"Thanks to our proactive response to management of C19, the Group's performance in the first two months of the financial year has been very encouraging, with losses comfortably lower than anticipated.
"On 23 June 2020, the Government announced that pubs could re-open from Saturday, 4 July 2020 and that social distancing would be eased from 2 meters to 1 meter plus. In our Smart Zones division, whilst some pubs may not re-open immediately and others will take some time to return to more normal levels of trade, the majority of pubs which we service will start to re-open from 4 July 2020 and already our customers are increasingly seeking trading data to improve decision-making during the C19 exit phase. Our recent proposal to provide further temporary pricing relief to our pub company customers has been very well received and will result in billing of around 70% of normal contracted fees for weekly support services until 31 October 2020, after which normal contract terms will resume.
"Whilst it is too early to fully determine demand, we have also received the first orders for Smart Shield, our recently launched C19 sanitisation service for pubs.
"All of this is clearly good news for Vianet and our Smart Zones customers, providing clarity and demonstrating a mutual commitment to the C19 recovery phase. In addition to our UK hospitality customers, we are also pleased to say that in North America, our partner AMC Theatres, is planning to re-open in July.
"In Smart Machines, the decision to increase and accelerate our Q4 2020 investment in additional sales and marketing capabilities and our investment in the product roadmap is already starting to yield results. We have seen strong momentum that we forecast will accelerate our growth during the C19 exit phase. Contracts have been finalised with several new customers, including Tchibo and Lavazza, and there is an encouraging pipeline of new contracts under discussion that are pending customers returning to more normal operations in the coming months. The strong pipeline is being driven by the growing trend away from cash payments, towards connected assets with reduced frequency of site visits and minimised business risk. These strong trends will continue to gain momentum post lockdown, increasing the requirement for remote connection to unattended retail assets and demand for our PCI Master Merchant status, which allows us to speed up the on-boarding of customers for payment capability.
"Whilst we recognise that the C19 situation is still unpredictable and uncertain, we remain confident that the Group is in a very good position to resume its strong earnings growth, continue the solid momentum that was building into FY2021 and deliver on the exciting growth opportunities that we see ahead of us."
- Ends -
Vianet Group plc
James Dickson, Chairman
Stewart Darling, CEO / Mark Foster, CFO
Tel: +44 (0) 1642 358 800
Cenkos Securities plc
Stephen Keys / Cameron MacRitchie
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7397 8900
Yellow Jersey PR
Tel: +44 (0)7764 947 137
Tel: +44 (0)7951 402 336
Vianet Group is a leading provider of actionable management information and business insight created through combining data from our smart Internet of Things ('IOT') solutions and external information sources.
Since Admission to AIM in 2006, the Group has grown from its core beer monitoring business both organically and through strategic acquisitions to widen its offering and also develop new businesses, especially in vending telemetry and contactless payment solutions particularly for the premium coffee sector.
Servicing over 300 customers across the world and rendering live data to our IOT platform from over 250,000 connected machines daily, Vianet is one of the largest business to business (b2b) connected solutions providers in Europe with established long term relationships with blue chip customers and growing recurring revenues which are over 85% of our total revenues.
In our Smart Machines Division we connect a single data gathering device with its own on-board communication capability to a customer's asset or system. The device then sends data back via our IOT platform to cloud based servers. The technology was originally developed for automated retailing machines, however the flexibility and functionality of the device means the technology can be applied to practically any machine which has the capability to output data. The device is also used to connect our contactless payment solution and communicate payment terms to our cloud based payment services providers where that application is also required.
The Smart Zones Division is where we connect multiple data gathering devices into one or more systems or assets with the data from those devices being communicated back to our IOT platform and cloud based servers via a single 3G communications hub. The technology was originally developed for flow monitoring devices, temperature sensors, and asset management in drinks retailing but practically any data gathering device with a digital output could be connected to the communications hub where required such as gaming machines, utilities management and EPOS.
For further information, please visit www.vianetplc.com
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