Brisbane, Australia, Aug 20, 2014 - (ABN Newswire) - Emerchants Ltd (ASX:EML) strengthened its balance sheet following a successful capital raise in August 2013. This set the stage for management to be able to further invest in information technology to support the higher load volumes we are continuing to enjoy. An investment of $0.74m in information technology, the introduction of a quality assurance function and a relentless focus on automation and efficiency will continue to pay dividends as our growth rate continues into the future.
The pursuit of our stated strategy of focusing on a handful of large industry verticals saw the successful signing of an agreement with the Queensland Government and emerchants becoming a preferred provider of prepaid card solutions to its various government departments. Consumer Lending continues to be an important industry for emerchants and the Company signed Cash Converters in addition to extending its relationship with Nimble through additional card orders. The advantages of more efficient cash distribution through the use of prepaid cards and emerchants' processing systems has been leveraged by the gambling industry with companies such as Ladbrokes Digital, Bet Easy and Sportsbet all contracting with your Company over the past year.
Revenue and EBITDA were somewhat disappointing as compared to the prior year with a modest increase of 3% and decrease of 12% respectively. The Company enters FY15 with a solid balance sheet including circa $4.5m in cash and no debt on the balance sheet. Dollar loads in FY14 were up over 25% as compared to the prior year and stored value exceeded the prior year by approximately 31%. These are two important metrics that point to the underlying strength of the Company.
Closed loop gift card growth rates have decreased markedly over the past two years. This was foreseen by management and was the primary reason for emerchants' strategic shift to reloadable prepaid cards as our primary product. The Company has been successful in shifting the balance of total dollar loads to approximately 50% of loads attributed to reloadable cards in FY14. We expect this shift in dollar loads to continue in favour of reloadable cards, which underpins much more predictable and longer term transaction volumes.
As a result of contracting with the above mentioned new customers, in combination with the extremely high retention rate of emerchants' existing customers and signing several other material new contracts, emerchants expects to experience its best financial year yet in FY15.
Emerchants' recognises as one of its most important goals that of providing strong shareholder returns. To that end, shareholders experienced an improvement in share price of 106% in the past fiscal year. We fully expect to continue to see strong share price growth in the coming fiscal year, with the further goal of achieving positive cash flow that will underpin future dividends.
As always, the Board and management greatly appreciate our longer term and newer shareholders' support of the company and are anxious to share with you the successes we expect to experience in the coming year.
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About Emerchants Ltd:
Emerchants Ltd (ASX:EML) (OTCMKTS:EMCHF) is a payments solutions provider of prepaid financial card products and services in Australia. By using its proprietary Secure Account Management (SAM) system, the Company provides its clients with innovative financial service payment solutions for reloadable and nonreloadable pre-paid card programs. Emerchants is able to adapt to meet the expense management and funds disbursement needs of any organisation. Its corporate expense, petty cash, per diem, social payments and staff rewards programs are easy to implement and reduce administration burden and costs. Emerchants is focused on the twin goal of delivering high quality payment systems to its customers and superior returns to its shareholders.
Emerchants LtdTom Cregan