Gloomy outlook at iE as retail banking depression continues

Gloomy outlook at iE as retail banking depression continues

Operating in the depressed retail banking sector, UK software house Intelligent Environments has warned of tough times to come, after reporting flat revenues and profits below guidance for the year ending Decemeber 2009.

Generating £6.4 million of revenue, iE turned in a profit of £0.86 million, somewhat below guidance forecasts of £1 million in profits.

The firms was hit by a string of setbacks, as M&A activity in the building society sector and continued gloom on the high streets led to the cancellation of a number of projects, including a £0.5 million deal with the Chelsea Building Society.

Phillip Blundell, iE chief executive comments: "2009 has been a challenging year for the financial services sector as a whole with the group in particular suffering a major project cancellation post the merger of the Chelsea Building Society and the Yorkshire Building Society in addition to the Royal Bank of Scotland's decision to pull out of the European Consumer finance market."

Despite these disappointments, IE won major contracts with Home Retail Group, Vanquis Bank, Stroud and Swindon Building Society as well as completing 3 NetFinance V4 customer projects.

The company also raised £0.75 million through a share placing in February to fund development of a new mobile banking platform.

Blundell says the platform has already been sold to a "high profile financial services customer" and that discussion are underway with other major financial institutions.

"This is a significant opportunity for the group with the mobile banking market expected to grow from 20 million users in 2008 to 913 million in 2014," he says.

While expecting an improvement in financial fortunes for the next year, the company nonetheless cautions: "Expectations for 2010 are influenced by market conditions in retail banking which we do not see recovering in the near term."

Shares in the group were marked down by more than ten per cent in early morning trading.

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