Brussels, 6 May 2009 - At the end of the first quarter of 2009, the Zetes Group reports contrasting states of business in its two fields of activity.
In Goods ID, the slowing of investment projects which was observed during the second half of 2008 is continuing, as reflected in division's sales and gross margin figures. Recurring business (essentially maintenance work on existing installations) remains stable, however. This, together with the added value strategy, has made it possible to again improve the gross margin on sales ratio.
People ID is making good progress in terms of sales and gross margin. To the long-term contracts (build and operate) which form the basis of the regular income of the division have been added several “build and transfer” contracts in Africa. Projects right now at the execution stage include electoral enrolment kits for Togo and a project to update the electoral roll in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The improved operating performance of People ID, with its low sensitivity to the economic climate, partly offsets the current slowing of the Goods ID division. For the first quarter of 2009 the key indicator, total amount of gross margin, is down 9% on Q1 2008. The same trends are already visible during the second quarter.
The net cash situation remains very good, at around EUR 1 million higher than at the end of December 2008.
Finally, in January 2009, the Zetes Group acquired Bopack Systems’ Print & Apply activities. As well as a strong presence in central European markets, this acquisition brings in major technical know-how. The relaunch of this activity and its integration in the Group are taking the form of a search for synergies with the Powersys/MD activities in Spain, and extending the solutions offered to both the Zetes and Bopack Systems customer bases.