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MONITISE H1 REVENUE UP 67% – CONSUMERS SWITCHING ON TO MOBILE INTERIM RESULTS FOR THE SIX MONTHS TO 31 DECEMBER 2013

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MONITISE H1 REVENUE UP 67% - CONSUMERS SWITCHING ON TO MOBILE  INTERIM RESULTS FOR THE SIX MONTHS TO 31 DECEMBER 2013 1

 LONDON – Monitise plc (LSE: MONI)(“Monitise”, the “Company” or the “Group”), a global leader in Mobile Money solutions,announces its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2013.

Financial Highlights

  • H1 FY 2014 revenue £46.5m, up 67% on H1 FY 2013.
  • Gross margin increased to 73% from 72% in H1 FY 2013, with user generated margin particularly strong, owing to a number of product licence deals following recent customer wins and renewals.
  • EBITDA (1)loss of £10.2m (H1 FY 2013 loss: £14.7m).
  • Adjusted loss after tax (2)of £16.4m (H1 FY 2013 loss: £21.0m) and adjusted loss per share of 1.0p (H1 FY 2013 loss: 1.8p). Statutory loss after tax of £22.0m (H1 FY 2013 loss: £30.3m) with loss per share of 1.4p (H1 FY 2013 loss: 2.6p).
  • Group net cash of £66.2m as at 31 December 2013. Free cash outflow (3)of £20.3m compared to £21.6m in H1 FY 2013. 

(1) EBITDA is defined as operating profit/loss before exceptional items, depreciation, amortisation, impairments and share-based payment charges.

(2)Adjustments comprise share-based payments, exceptional items, impairments and acquisition-related amortisation.

(3)Free cash flow comprises cash used in operating and investing activities including capital expenditure and JV funding. It excludes exceptional items and net cash acquired on acquisitions.

 Outlook

  • We continue to see increasing demand for our services and positive momentum across the Group and therefore see the need for continued investment as we look to maximise the growth opportunities for Monitise. We reiterate our full-year guidance.
  • Expected revenue growth of approximately 50% in FY 2014.
  • FY 2014 gross margin to be maintained above 70%.
  • The Group sees multiple opportunities in all geographies both from direct sales channels and our growing partner network.
  • A move to the London Stock Exchange’s main market in calendar 2014 continues to be considered.

Operational Highlights

  • Rising demand for Monitise-enabled Mobile Money services
  • Processed payments and transfers now worth $71bn on an annualised basis, compared with $31bn a year ago.
  • Further growth in live transactions, with more than 3.4bn transactions on an annualised basis, compared with 2bn a year ago.
  • Registered end-user customers at 28m, compared with 20m a year ago.
  • Global footprint strengthened
  • IBM publicly announced working with Monitise in September 2013, calling out the development of new solutions to extend the adoption of Mobile Money services across the two businesses’ client and partner networks.
  • Monitise recognised with a 2014 IBM Choice Award for High Performing New Business Partner at IBM’s PartnerWorld Leadership conference in Las Vegas on 11 February 2014.
  • Following Monitise’s appointment as the preferred mobile payments and commerce technology partner for Telefónica Digital in FY 2013, preparation is underway for a series of service roll-outs in geographies around the world.
  • Industry recognition with CEB Tower Group and Javelin Research and Strategy “best in class” vendor awards.

Growing global network of brands focused on new Monitise-developed solutions

Europe

  • More than 30 Visa Europe member banks are now signed up to person-to-person payment solutions developed by Monitise that allow Visa cardholders to send money to each other using their mobile phones.
  • Monitise entered into a Mobile Money partnership with a leading UK bank and financial services company.
  • A major mobile banking and payments contract was renewed with a leading bank for a new minimum five-year term.
  • Grapple Mobile Ltd (“Grapple”) was acquired by Monitise in September 2013 and integrated into Monitise Create. The businesshas a broad pipeline of new commercial opportunities across financial services and other sectors such as sport, travel and entertainment in the UK, Europe and internationally. Monitise Create is working with FIFA and Samsung and has won its first contract with a leading US bank.
  • Mobile banking services for Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank launched, generating strong customer adoption rates across iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices.

US

  • Vantage 5.1, the hybrid version of Monitise’s technology platform in the Americas, was released with positive customer feedback.
  • U.S. Bank began a pilot programme with Monitise to directly connect consumers’ offline and online shopping experiences via smartphones and tablets.
  • Monitise-developed NFC mobile payment capabilities launched by Desjardins Group, Canada’s leading cooperative financial group.
  • With Visa Inc., Monitise is working on a number of initiatives to support its mobile strategies, including enhancements to the Visa DPS mobile platform, Visa PayWave for contactless payments and a new mPOS platform.
  • Partnership began with credit union CSCU that sees the Group’s technology being offered to more than 2,600 credit unions across North America.

India

  • Movida, which is Monitise’s 50/50 Joint Venture (JV) with Visa in India contracted ICICI, India’s largest private bank, to make the Movida mobile payments functionalities available to its customers. This follows Movida’s previously announced partnership with HDFC Bank, India- second-largest private bank.

Asia Pacific

  • Monitise secured full control of Monitise Asia Pacific Ltd, its former 50:50 JV with First Eastern Mobile Investments Ltd.
  • Monitise’s first Chinese language Mobile Money solution was launched with the rollout of ‘Easy TopUp’ for Bank of China (Hong Kong). Using technology developed by Monitise, Bank of China became the first bank in Hong Kong to provide such a service to its customers in cooperation with Joint Electronic Teller Service Limited (JETCO), the ATM network provider in Hong Kong.
  • Board appointments – New Chairman and Non-Executive Director
  • Appointment of Peter Ayliffe as Non-Executive Chairman.
  • Steve Chambers and Victor Dahir appointed Non-Executive Directors.

Post period-end highlights

  • Acquisition of Pozitron Yazilim A.Ş., (“Pozitron”) in February 2014 to accelerate Monitise’s Mobile Money capabilities in Turkey and the Middle East.
  • Further to entering a three-year deal for multi-language mobile Point of Sale services with OP-Pohjola Group, Finland’s leading banking group, for its business customers, new mPOS customer deals are under negotiation. Further announcements expected in coming months regarding business wins in the UK and Europe, including Germany, Italy, and internationally.

Monitise CEO Alastair Lukies said:

“Mobile Money is growing and evolving as fast as ever and we have made solid progress in the first half of 2014. The world has gone mobile and industries are moving to catch up with consumer demand. As a trusted and non-threatening enabler, we are very pleased to be playing our role in helping to reconnect brands to their customers and bringing together an ecosystem of industries for the benefit of all.

During the half, we entered new relationships and deepened existing collaborations with leading players across financial services, payment processing, mobile network operators, technology businesses and retail. This helped to lift our revenue 67% to £46.5m and saw the value of payments and transfers running across our platforms hit $71bn, more than double what they were a year ago. But there is a lot further to travel. Large deals signed in 2013 are still in build phase, and our work with channel partners are also yet to materially impact our top line.

This is now a very dynamic market and fast evolving industry and we have positioned ourselves extremely well to cement a long-term and sustainable role in the way that society banks, pays and buys for generations to come.”

Monitise Chairman Peter Ayliffe commented:

“In my first statement as Chairman, I am pleased to report that Monitise has delivered another impressive performance in the first half of 2014.Banking, payments and commerce are being transformed by digital and mobile technology. While the sectors that Monitise operates in are large and some relatively complex, it is essentially about partnerships, robust infrastructure and collaborations that create compelling benefits for all participants in the ecosystem. This is an exciting time for the Group as it evolves to the next level in executing against its Mobile Money growth strategy.

The Board continues to assess scope for further investment to capitalise on the significant opportunity in our space and deliver value to our partners, clients and shareholders. Monitise has made a positive start to the second half and we look to the future with confidence.”

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U.S. inauguration turns poet Amanda Gorman into best seller

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U.S. inauguration turns poet Amanda Gorman into best seller 2

WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The president’s poet woke up a superstar on Thursday, after a powerful reading at the U.S. inauguration catapulted 22-year-old Amanda Gorman to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list.

Hours after Gorman’s electric performance at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, her two books – neither out yet – topped Amazon.com’s sales list.

“I AM ON THE FLOOR MY BOOKS ARE #1 & #2 ON AMAZON AFTER 1 DAY!” Gorman, a Los Angeles resident, wrote on Twitter.

Gorman’s debut poetry collection ‘The Hill We Climb’ won top spot in the online retail giant’s sale charts, closely followed by her upcoming ‘Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem’.

While poetry’s popularity is on the up, it remains a niche market and the overnight adulation clearly caught Gorman short.

“Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and my words. As Yeats put it: ‘For words alone are certain good: Sing, then’.”

Gorman, the youngest poet in U.S. history to mark the transition of presidential power, offered a hopeful vision for a deeply divided country in Wednesday’s rendition.

“Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it,” Gorman said on the steps of the U.S. Capitol two weeks after a mob laid siege and following a year of global protests for racial justice.

“We will not march back to what was. We move to what shall be, a country that is bruised, but whole. Benevolent, but bold. Fierce and free.”

The performance stirred instant acclaim, with praise from across the country and political spectrum, from the Republican-backing Lincoln Project to former President Barack Obama.

“Wasn’t @TheAmandaGorman’s poem just stunning? She’s promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can’t wait,” tweeted former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

A graduate of Harvard University, Gorman says she overcame a speech impediment in her youth and became the first U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017.

She has now joined the ranks of august inaugural poets such as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

Her social media reach boomed, with her tens of thousands of followers ballooning into a Twitter fan base of a million-plus.

“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I,” tweeted TV host Oprah Winfrey.

Gorman’s books are both due out in September.

Third on Amazon’s best selling list was another picture book linked to politics and projecting hope: ‘Ambitious Girl’ by Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, Meena Harris.

(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Lyndsay Griffiths. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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Why brands harnessing the power of digital are winning in this evolving business landscape

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Why brands harnessing the power of digital are winning in this evolving business landscape 3

By Justin Pike, Founder and Chairman, MYPINPAD

Delivery of intuitive, secure, personalised, and frictionless user experiences has long been table stakes in digital commerce, well before the era of COVID-19. As businesses harness the revolutionary power of digital technologies, they have pursued large-scale change to adapt to evolving consumer preferences (some more successfully than others, but that’s a blog for another day). Digital transformation is a term we hear repeatedly, and it looks different for each organisation, but essentially, it’s about utilising technology and data to digitise, automate, innovate and improve processes and the customer experience across the entire business.

As I said, this was already well underway but then came 2020 and no industry escaped the disruption of the coronavirus outbreak, which has had an indelible impact on businesses performance, operations, and revenue. Regardless of whether the impact of COVID has been very positive or very challenging, it has forced organisations globally to re-evaluate and re-orient strategies to adapt.

As lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions continue to change daily life, this raises the question of how we can balance a dramatic shift to digital and the benefits it brings, while ensuring business continuity and innovation both during and post-COVID, and protecting everyone against fraud?

Digital is an essential survival tool, and even more so in a COVID world

No one could have predicted the dramatic digital pivot that has taken place over this year. Indeed, within weeks of the COVID outbreak cash usage in the UK dropped by around 50%. Digital solutions including delivery applications, contactless payments, mobile commerce, online and mobile banking have become essential components of a touchless customer experience in the era of social distancing. It’s no longer just about an enhanced and superior customer experience, it’s also about health, safety and survival.

In store, businesses have benefited from contactless payments enabling faster throughput and reduced need for consumers to touch payment terminals (therefore requiring greater cleaning, which degrades the hardware much faster). Mastercard reported a 40% increase in contactless payments – including tap-to-pay and mobile pay – during the first quarter of the year as the global pandemic worsened. Digital has also become an essential sales channel for many B2C brands. Where brick and mortar stores have been required to close, digital commerce enables continuity of customer relationships and revenue. This channel also provides brands with rich customer data, which can be used to enhance and personalise the customer experience and typically results in greater levels of engagement and uplifts in revenue.

Industry forecasts estimate that worldwide spending on the technologies and services enabling digital transformation will reach GBP 1.8 trillion in 2023 – a clear indication that the process represents a long-term investment and a global commitment to digital-first strategy. The key point here is that digital brings significant benefits, and regardless of COVID, is here to stay.

The challenges that rapid digital transformation brings to businesses

Justin Pike

Justin Pike

Regardless of whether businesses are operating in developed or less-developed economies, these times of crisis have levelled the playing field in the sense that all businesses are facing similar issues. Access to products and supplies, maintaining customer relationships, accelerating sales for some and declining sales for others, health and hygiene are just a few of the unique challenges brought about by COVID.

Many businesses in physical environments have had to swiftly implement changes to significantly reduce safety risks for staff and customers, such as contactless payments, mobile ordering and delivery options. But with these changes come a host of other benefits of digitisation, such as faster transactions, and reduced human error at the point-of-sale.

The reliance on technology, however, can also expose organisations and consumers to certain vulnerabilities. In particular, the risks of fraud and cybercrime have dramatically increased since the onset of the pandemic as scammers have taken advantage of digital technologies to target both businesses and individuals.

As a McKinsey report illustrates, new levels of sophistication in the activities of fraudsters have placed more pressure on companies that have been previously slow to go digital, bringing “into sharp relief how vulnerable companies really are”, and damaging the financial health of small and large businesses. In fact, the Bottomline 2020 Business Payments Barometer reveals that only one in 10 small businesses across the UK report recovering more than 50% of losses due to fraud.

But take these stats with a grain of salt. While it is important to be aware of the risks and challenges this new business landscape brings, it’s equally as important to have a lens firmly across your own business, industry and audience, and to identify the changes you can make internally to mitigate risk as well as improve your customer experience. Where can you make some quick wins? Do you have the right skillsets internally to achieve what you need to achieve? What technology is out there that will enable your business goals? There are tech companies like MYPINPAD that are making huge strides in software development, which will transform businesses globally.

A digital world post-COVID

Almost a year in, the line between business success and failure remains fragile. However, an ongoing transition towards greater digitisation will be the difference between survival and the alternative.

There is a wide range of initiatives businesses can implement to weather this storm. If we look at the space MYPINPAD operates within, secure digital consumer authentication is crucial to the ongoing success and security of not only financial products but also identification and verification across a range of different industry verticals. Shifting the authentication of consumers securely onto mobile devices enables businesses to completely reshape their customer experiences. By bringing together a more seamless, frictionless customer experience, accessibility, privacy, security and access to consumer data, businesses are able to drive digital transformation across day-to-day activities.

Against this backdrop, software with stronger security standards continue to play an ever more vital role in supporting society, protecting consumers and businesses from the increase in risks that rapid digitisation brings. Already, merchants can deploy PIN on Mobile technology from companies like MYPINPAD, onto their smart devices to speed up the digitisation process many are now tackling.

Essentially, opening up universal payments and authentication methods that feel familiar, for both online and face-to-face transactions, will be key to opening up a world of possibilities when it comes to redefining how businesses engage with consumers.

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Brexit responsible for food supply problems in Northern Ireland, Ireland says

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Brexit responsible for food supply problems in Northern Ireland, Ireland says 4

LONDON (Reuters) – Food supply problems in Northern Ireland are due to Brexit because there are now a certain amount of checks on goods going between Britain and Northern Ireland, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.

British ministers have sought to play down the disruption of Brexit in recent days.

“The supermarket shelves were full before Christmas and there are some issues now in terms of supply chains and so that’s clearly a Brexit issue,” Coveney told ITV.

The Northern Irish protocol means there are “a certain amount of checks on goods coming from GB into Northern Ireland and that involves some disruption,” he said.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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