CMS WebView losses widen as sales fail to meet expectations

CMS WebView losses widen as sales fail to meet expectations

UK market data technology vendor CMS WebView is reporting widening losses and a sharp fall in revenue for the year ending 31 December 2004 after sales of its TDI product failed to meet expectations.

The firm's pre-tax losses more than trebled to £1.7m, from £543,000 a year ago. Turnover fell 48% to £839,000, compared to £1.63m a year ago.

In a statement, Keppel Simpson, chairman, said the company had a "disappointing year" in which the sales of its proprietary TDI ticker plant software failed to match expectations.

The company said last November that it was initiating a strategic review in a bid to cut costs across the business. As a result the firm closed its US office in New York and Chicago and reduced its UK headcount. The company also relocated head office staff to the same premises as technical staff and managed to renegotiate contracts with a number of suppliers and advisers.

In Februrary the vendor said it was involved in discussions with another party about a possible sale of the firm, but the talks fell through and the company pressed ahead with implementing its cost cutting programme. As a result of the measures, the company's balance sheet remains comparatively strong with a net cash position of £1.46m at year end.

CMS says the effects of the cost reductions are expected to show through in this year's results and losses for 2005 will not exceed £550,000.

"Whatever the outcome of the current order discussions for the remainder of 2005, we have assumed that even if we do not win any other new TDI contracts this year, that our 2005 financial losses will be limited to a maximum of £550,000, and that our cash reserves will be sufficient to meet working capital requirements for 2005 and beyond," says Simpson.

CMS says it has secured an order from an existing exchange customer to enhance its TDI system, with delivery scheduled for June 2005.

During the year the firm also undertook further development work on its TDI software, including the production of a Linux version of the product and the development of a FIX protocol interface. Despite the lack of sales, CMS maintains that its "full ownership rights" to TDI make it a significant asset.

Beyond TDI, CMS is reviewing demand levels for its entry-level browser-based price reporting product, PriceView, which was launched in 2001 and which it says is currently used by 70 clients. The firm says it will also explore opportunities to produce white-label versions of PriceView for medium-to-large trading organisations.

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