21st Century, the supplier and installation service provider of public transport CCTV and vehicle monitoring systems, today issues the following pre-close trading update ahead of its preliminary results for the year ending 31 December 2011, which will be announced on 28 March 2012.
Profit after tax for the year to 31 December 2011 from continuing activities, is expected to be in line with market expectations and cash flow generated from operations significantly ahead of expectations in the second half of the year. The Company now has no bank debt and held cash at bank of £2.7m at 30 November 2011 compared to net debt of £0.6m at 30 June 2011.
The Company continues to work hard on its strategy to drive growth through developing its existing business in the UK and expansion into overseas markets by investing in innovation and by nurturing new and existing partnerships.
21st Century continues to be the preferred supplier of on-board CCTV systems to three of the five top bus operators in the UK, in addition to being the preferred supplier to Arriva and Keolis in Stockholm.
During the current year, the Company underpinned its presence in Scandinavia and its links with existing and potential customers in the region through the establishment of a wholly owned subsidiary, 21st C. Scandinavia AB. Scandinavia is now 21st Century's second largest market after the UK and the Company is looking to roll out the successful model established in this territory to other countries in mainland Europe.
To date 21st Century has sold in excess of 6,500 of its award winning EcoManager driver's aid systems and customers have reported fuel savings of up to 12% and 60% reduction in accidents after fitting the device to their buses. The Company has recently appointed its first distributor in mainland Europe and is currently trialling the EcoManager system with several potential new customers in its home market and abroad. The Company has had encouraging feedback from these trials and has also recently received several serious expressions of interest in the latest version of its passenger counting system from bus operators in mainland Europe. The Company is hopeful that these initiatives, along with its other marketing activities, will give further traction to growth in sales in the UK and overseas in the short to medium term.
Commenting on the trading update, 21st Century's Chief Executive, Nick Grimond, said:
"We are extremely pleased with the performance in the current year and encouraged to have significant pipeline sales opportunities as we approach the year end. As previously stated, we continue to progress the sale of our freehold property in Mitcham, Surrey.
"The Company has a strong cash position, providing a sound financial base from which to support our growth plans and take advantage of opportunities in favourable markets as they develop."
For Further Information:
21st Century Technology plc
020 8710 4016
MHP Communications Ltd
020 3128 8100
Daniel Stewart & Co plc
020 7776 6550
Notes to editors:
21st Century Technology plc (AIM: C21), a leading supplier of public transport CCTV and other monitoring systems, was admitted to trading on AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange, in 2005.
21st Century is the preferred supplier of on-board CCTV systems for Arriva UK Bus, the Go-Ahead Group in the UK and FirstGroup UK Bus.
The Company has pioneered the use of WiFi with on-board CCTV systems and Transport for London commissioned the Company to undertake a trial of 'LiveView' - a system which transmits live CCTV pictures from on board the bus to a public transport and police control centre. 21st Century was also the first company to successfully launch Automatic Video Downloads and a bus CCTV monitoring system (HeartbeatTM) which allow the CCTV manager to remotely download CCTV footage from the bus to his computer and check that all the CCTV systems fitted to his buses are fully operational, without leaving his desk. The company's overhead camera passenger counting device, known as Passenger Analysis System ("PAS"), links to the ticket machine and enables bus operators to analyse specific bus route ticket sales and passenger numbers.
21st Century's EcoManager product has made a significant contribution to sales since its launch in July 2008. The EcoManager black-box system is aimed at reducing fuel and maintenance costs, reducing emissions and improving safety for bus operators by monitoring individual driving styles. Following a successful trial, in April 2009, Arriva UK committed to install the device on all their new buses and to retrofit a large proportion of their existing fleet. In November 2009 Arriva North West and Merseytravel won the industry recognised Alexander Dennis Award for Innovation following their installation of the EcoManager system which yielded fuel savings of up to 12%, associated CO2 emission reductions and a 62% reduction in accidents. This was followed in 2010 with a driver safety award for EcoManager presented by the road safety charity, Brake and in 2011, Arriva Wirral was presented with the Environmental Award by Wirral Investment Network in recognition of the environmental benefits achieved by the company as a result of the installation of EcoManager to its fleet of buses. For further information go to www.getecomanager.com.
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