Online e-cash processor Neovia plc (formerly Neteller) has releasing trading results for the first quarter of 2009, and the numbers are disappointing.
 
* Group revenue of $ 16.4 million is down 3 percent compared to Q1 2008
 
* E-wallet revenue is flat at $ 11.4 million, although overall fee revenue, including gateway businesses,  is up 3 percent from Q1 2008 to $ 15.8 million
 
* Average daily receipts are down 4 percent from Q4 2008 and 11 percent from Q1 2008
 
* Active e-wallet users are down 5 percent at 92 757 compared to Q4 2008
 
* E-wallet revenue per active e-wallet user is $ 122 for Q1 2009, an 8 percent increase on Q1 2008 davincis gold
 
* Gross margin is at 58 percent, a decline compared to the 62 percent and 64 percent recorded respectively for Q1 2008 and Q4 2008
 
* Income from operations is up 29 percent to $ 3.1 million compared to $ 2.4 million in Q1 2008
 
* Total group cash is $ 76.5 million as at 31 March 2009
 
Dale Johnson, Neovia's chairman, commented: “Trading in the first three months of 2009 is disappointing and reflects a weakening trend in Europe due to an increasingly competitive market, challenging economic conditions, volatile current markets and limitations in new product introductions until Newteller (the Company’s new technology platform) is launched in Q3 2009.
 
"The future benefits of Newteller will include cost savings and greater operating efficiencies within the Group. We expect 2009 to be a year of both significant challenge and exciting opportunity. Investment in the business will continue, especially for completion of the Newteller programme. Strategic opportunities are being examined, particularly in support of the Group's card strategy. The work to create greater differentiation, accompanied by a cost structure that creates competitive advantage, will be accelerated.
 
"While the Board remains confident about the Group’s prospects, the overarching themes for 2009 will be leveraging high potential initiatives, cost control and prudent cash management.”

BETTER FULL YEAR 2008 NUMBERS FROM NEOVIA
 
But "…the Board is not fully satisfied with the Group’s progress towards its strategic aims."
 
Neovia plc's full year results to December 31 2008 were published this week, and will do little to cheer investors. Indeed, as the Board commented: "Nonetheless, the Board is not fully satisfied with the Group’s progress towards its strategic aims. Trading in the year to date has been disappointing and reflects a weakening trend in Europe, due to an increasingly competitive market, challenging economic conditions, volatile currency markets and limitations in new product introductions." 
 
* Group revenue was up 9 percent at $ 75.6 million – excluding North America (2007: $ 69.1 million)
 
* Fee revenue (excluding North America) was a bright spot with a rise of 26 percent to $ 69.5 million in 2008
 
* Gross margin improved 6.2 percent to 61.8 percent in 2008 due to cost management
 
* Profit before tax and other items improved at $ 6.4 million vs. 2007's loss $ 12.8 million
 
* Total group cash was $ 82.3 million at 31 December 2008
 
The Board has withheld a dividend as it seeks to preserve cash to retain financial flexibility.
 
Key Performance Indicators over the year included:
 
* Active e-wallet users (exc North America) totalled 97 673 in Q4 2008 were down compared to Q4 2007's 99 984
 
* However, E-wallet fee revenue per active e-wallet user increased to $ 128 for 2008 (2007: US$ 111)
 
* Average daily sign ups were more-or-less static at 981 for 2008 (2007: 985); and
 
* Average daily receipts reached $ 457 442 for 2008, well down from 2007's $ 656 809 (including North American receipts).
 
Neovia chairman Dale Johnson commented: “During 2008 progress was made by the NEOVIA Group in building the foundations to be a pre-eminent provider of bold online payment solutions to selected e-commerce communities. Creditable financial performance was achieved, in line with market expectations, despite a sharp deterioration in economic conditions worldwide. While the Board remains confident about the Group’s prospects, the overarching themes for 2009 will be leveraging high potential initiatives, cost control and prudent cash management.”