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Universe Group Plc

Universe Group plc A Profitable year, with continued success implementing current product range

Universe Group plc (LON: UNG), a leading developer and supplier of point of sale, payment and loyalty systems, is pleased to announce its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2018.

Andrew Blazye, Non-Executive Chairman of Universe, commented:

“We have had another profitable year, with continued successful implementation of our current product range. As an example, our new payment terminal Gempay 3, now has an installed base of 2,930 terminals.

It was also a year of new customer acquisitions. For example, the success of the Gempay 3 payment terminal and our payment processing services in the UK resulted in Universe winning Euro Garages as a new customer. This roll out, involving over 370 forecourts in the UK, is near completion. In total this customer now has 540 Gempay 3 terminals installed and payment transaction volumes in excess of 3 million per month passing through our payment switch. Euro Garages has a well-deserved, global reputation for innovation and we are delighted to be making a contribution to their success.

During the year, we have secured important contract extensions from existing customers, won new customers and completed a number of strategic partnerships. The Group remains profitable and cash generative, with a high level of recurring revenues and strong cash reserves. We continue to invest in the business with key hires and significant product innovation, which will have clear benefits over the longer term.

Supported by the strategic acquisition of Celtech and our new partnerships, we are confident the Group is well positioned for significant growth in 2019 and beyond.”

Highlights

· Results in line with Trading Update given in September 2018

· Total revenues of £19.89 million (2017: £19.62 million)

· Gross profit margin steady at 48.2% (2017: 47.6%)

· Adjusted EBITDA £2.65 million (2017: £2.37 million)

· Operating profit £0.91 million (2017: £0.88 million)

· Profit after tax £0.80 million (2017: £0.63 million)

· Statutory diluted earnings per share 0.33p (2017: 0.26p)

· Net cash at year end £1.92 million (31 December 2017: £1.86 million)

· Gempay 3 installed base now 2,930 devices

· New customer wins for payment processing services e.g. Euro Garages

· Launched partnerships with P97 and Ubamarket in the fields of mobile and in-car marketing and payment solutions and in-store scan-and-go applications

· Absorbed impact and still grew revenues following the well-known demise of customer, Conviviality Plc, and the loss of a planned £2.0 million point of sale installation

· Post year-end on 3 April 2019, acquired Dublin based Camden Technology Investments Limited trading as Celtech, a class-leading developer of cloud-based retail and wholesale management solutions, for £4.96 million

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.