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Accesso expects to return to normal trading in H2

Accesso Technology Group said it expects to return to normal trading in the second half of this year as it announced a stronger than expected performance for 2020.

For the year to December 31, 2020, the ticketing and technology services company recorded group revenue of $56.1m, which was around half of the $117.2m reported in 2019. Accesso said this was “a resilient performance and ahead of expectations set out at the onset of the pandemic”.

The London AIM-listed group said cash EBITDA decreased to a loss of $11.5m, following a profit of $7.1m in 2019. The group said a reduction of $18.6m against a revenue decline of $61.1m was “a testament to the swift and decisive actions of management to realign the group’s cost base in response to the pandemic.”

Statutory loss before tax was $32.9m, compared to a loss $57.6m in 2019, which Accesso said was largely reflective of a $61.1m revenue reduction net of cost saving exercises deployed by management. It said that headcount at the company dropped by more than 100 to 435 during the course of the year.

Looking ahead, Accesso – which has clients across theme parks, attractions and festivals – said it has made an encouraging start to 2021. Despite European and Californian attractions remaining closed in January and February, the group delivered strong revenue performance, trading only 19 per cent down on the same two months in 2019.

The group said its year-to-date eCommerce trading also indicates strong pent-up demand with year-to-date eCommerce ticket volumes in APAC at 15 per cent and 21 per cent above 2020 and 2019 respectively. North American volumes are up 54% and 28% over the same periods. The majority of its remaining venues have now either opened or have scheduled openings through to May 2021.

Steve Brown, chief executive of Accesso, said: “During 2020 we proved ourselves resilient in the face of a near-total shutdown of our industry as global travel and leisure was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud of how our team responded, and how we worked through the personal, professional, and financial impacts together.

“With so many of our customers shuttered, we took the opportunity to refocus and reshape our business. We have removed duplication, refined processes, reduced costs, aligned our teams for greater efficiency, improved customer support, and delivered new innovation.

“We now have a growth-ready foundation on which to address substantial pent-up demand as the pandemic recedes.

“During 2020 we delivered strong performance where and when our customers were able to open. This gives us confidence that our underlying opportunity is intact or even enhanced. In the last year, technology has become an even more critical element of the guest experience as both venues and customers increased their need and reliance on digital services to drive efficiency and improved experiences.

“While the pandemic is not yet behind us, with vaccination programmes underway in our key geographies, we feel confident of a progression to more normal trading conditions in 2021. With the strength of our technology offering, solid relationships, and an amplified focus on technology by venue operators, we are well-set to re-embark on our growth journey.”