French smart card manufacturer Gemplus has returned to profit in 2004, driven by growth in wireless markets and financial sector EMV applications.
Revenue at group level was up 15.5% to EUR865 million as the company turned in a net profit of EUR4.7 million.
Financial Services revenue was driven by the EMV migration, with a massive rollout in the UK and ramp-up in France, Turkey, Mexico, South America and Malaysia. Gemplus shipped 51 million payment microprocessor cards, with revenue up 29% year-on-year.
Fourth quarter returns from financial services showed a marked slowdown, however, as the positive effect of EMV roll-out was offset by cannibalisation of other payment and conventional cards. Payment microprocessor card revenue rose 12% year-on-year.
Looking ahead, Gemplus is expecting a growing contribution from its recently-introduced MasterCard OneSmart PayPass card, offering both contact and contactless payment transactions. Contactless smartcard payment solutions are expected to drive a significant portion of the future payment market, although large volume shipments are unlikely any time soon.