SmartPay restructures, sheds 25% of staff

SmartPay restructures, sheds 25% of staff

NZX-listed payments technology and wi-fi company SmartPay has restructured, shedding up to 10 staff, to focus on its three main markets: telecommunications, music/media and taxi payments. Managing director Ian Bailey, formerly of Cadmus, says SmartPay has reduced its overheads by consolidating all staff into one building, reviewing its headcount, consolidating its multiple operating entities and implementing new accounting and reporting systems.

He says the staff made redundant come from various areas, including operations, administration and also some replacement of sales staff. Staff used to number around 40 but now number around 30, he says.

SmartPay increased its operating revenues by 20% to $41.3 million for the year ended 31 March, 2008, from $34.4 million in 2007. However, it also reported a growing loss of $2.6 million for the year compared with $1.5 million in 2007. $800,000 of this was related to the writedown of an Australian investment and costs of acquisitions, the company says in its annual report.

Bailey says SmartPay has not offered any guidance for its financial performance in 2009.

“We re-financed the business by completing a successful shareholder rights issue earlier this year, which has strengthened the balance sheet.” Bailey says.

“Dedicated management have now been tasked with the performance of each division and are responsible for their respective sales growth and profitability.”

Bailey also notes that SmartPay is investigating opportunities that will accelerate its growth within its three target markets and see the company becoming cash-flow positive within the next few months and profitable before June 2009.

He says current market turmoil could help smartPay as the company offers its customers both ways to cut costs and new revenue streams.

“The telecommunications market has been identified as one area of potential significant growth as we have the platforms and technology to allow us to readily expand in this market segment,"Bailey says. "We are actively looking for strategic acquisitions that will rapidly increase our reach and customer base.”

SmartPay's products include telecommunications, including voice over IP, broadband, Eftpos connectivity, prepayment products and wi-fi; advertising/media/music services via its Retail Radio brand, and; payment and network services to the taxi industry.

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