Vianet monitors its challenging year ahead

Data monitors Vianet have issued a trading update at its annual general meeting in which it predicted another challenging year

James Dickson, executive chairman of the Stockton-based business, which provides monitoring systems for fuel forecourts, pubs and vending and gaming firms, announced that although the year had started slowly, the group was optimistic about its long-term prospects.

He said: “As expected, the first quarter of the year has started slowly, but the group continues to make good operational progress across its business areas and in various geographic markets. Accordingly, there are good reasons to be optimistic on the medium to long term prospects for the group’s key areas of focus and, in the short term, there is also the continued prospect of the loss-making areas moving past break-even. We look forward to updating shareholders on further progress in due course.

“The board remains conscious of the uncertainty surrounding the Government’s proposed Statutory Code for Pub Companies and the adverse impact the proposals for controlling beer flow monitoring contained within the Code might have on our business.

“While 2013/14 may be another challenging year, in balancing aspects of our short-term caution with our longer-term optimism, we would draw attention to the continued strong cash generation of the group and the recent decision by the board to maintain the final dividend for 2012/13.”

The news comes after the firm said in February that it would be downgrading its trading expectations due to increased investment in the US, delays to contracts and a squeeze on the leisure sector.

It has reported good progress this year despite posting a drop in revenue of 8.2% to £21.09m for the year ending March 2013, in line with expectations.

It also said its balance sheet remained healthy and the 250-strong firm should reap the benefits of US launches and new contracts in the coming year.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer