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Seeing Machines doubles revenues in its fleet business in first half

Its Guardian in-cab driver fatigue monitoring technology is gaining traction with customers
driverless car
Semi-autonomous cars are tipped to be the next big thing in the automotive industry

Eye-tracking and facial recognition specialist Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) grew revenues in two of its three main businessesin its first half.

The Australia-based, London-listed group doubled revenues in its Guardian fleet division – an in-cab driver fatigue monitoring technology – to A$1.64mln in the six months to 31 December.

That was primarily to three new distributor agreements signed in the period – including one with a US outfit, one with an Asia Pacific company and another in New Zealand – which have brought on board multiple customers on a trial run basis.

Seeing Machines said it was particularly pleased with the progress it was making with Guardian in the US, with several of these ‘customers under assessment’ being converted to contracts.

On top of Guardian, its automotive business – home to its Fovio driver monitoring system (DMS) – also made progress on a revenue front in the half year.

That division grew revenues to A$993,000 (2015: A$979,000) and Seeing Machines said it had made “tremendous strides” in developing the technology.

The company has a deal with a ‘major’ original equipment manufacturer (OEM) which is due to launch its first semi-autonomous vehicle with integrated DMS later this year. So far, Seeing said it had passed every major delivery milestone for this customer.

As expected, the only major division of the company not to outperform last year’s was mining.

Seeing Machines has a licensing deal with Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT) and this agreement provided a significant one-off boost in 2016.

The division raked in A$790,000 in the six month period, compared to the A$27.6mln it generated in the same period back in 2015.

Seeing Machines said it made “significant progress” in its aviation arm in the first half of its year, while in its rail division, it expects to announce an agreement with Progress Rail to be in place later in 2017.

“We continue to grow our business in the Automotive, Fleet, Aviation, Mining and Rail markets and technologies with strong support from our shareholders,” said chief executive Ken Kroeger.

“Revenue in our Fleet business has more than doubled, with long-term contracted business and a stronger pipeline developed across a number of regions and channels worldwide.

“Overall, I am pleased with the progress towards the achievement of our long-term goals as our multi-sector strategy continues to gain momentum.”

Speaking of shareholder support, Seeing Machines successfully raised A$27mln from investors at the end of 2016 which it received in January.

Cash will go to the company’s Fovio automotive arm, which has come up with a driver monitoring chip to be used in the next generation of semi-autonomous cars. 

Prior to the placing announcement, Seeing Machines had been mulling whether to demerge Fovio as a separate business.

But, with the cash influx, it was deemed in the “best interests” of the business to retain control of its intellectual property.

Given that it’s still heavily investing in the research and development of its various technologies, Seeing Machines reported a loss for the period of A$14.1mln (H1 2015: A$11.2mln).

At the end of the period, the firm had A$11.6mln of cash in the bank (June 2016: A$16.9mln).

Seeing Machines also said that new contracts had not translated to sales revenue as quickly as it had expected and has reduced its full-year revenue forecasts as a result.

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