Lo-Q, the virtual queuing system specialists for theme parks and major attractions, have reported interim results for the six month period ended 30 April 2012, showing an increase in revenue and plans for new products and markets in line with their “going for growth” strategy.
Trading is typically heavily weighted towards the second half of the year (13% in the year ended 31 October 2011) in line with Lo-Q’s customers’ peak attendance.
- Revenues rose to £3.7m in the six months to April compared to £3.27m for the same period in 2011.
- 14% rise in average revenue per guest driven by increased conversion of customers to premium products
- 1% per cent fall in the total number of people using Lo-Q’s products due to the effects of poor weather on European attendances
- Losses rose to £1.1m, from £0.94m, due to expenditure on new contracts and ongoing research and development
- Cash stood at a healthy £5.27m as at 30th April 2012.
Tom Burnet, Lo-Q’s Chief Executive, said: “We have had an encouraging first half, contracting with both new and existing customers and ensuring that these new mandates were installed efficiently and effectively, ready for the important second half trading period…I remain confident that the momentum will carry on into the second half.”
In an interview with Blooloop last year Burnett set out the company’s strategy: “The Board’s decision was to go for growth and the first thing they did was to hire me. They are extremely supportive of my ambitions to mature the business in its existing market, to introduce new products into those markets and then in due course to the stretch our wings beyond our existing markets.”
Lo-Q’s original virtual queuing solution, the Q-bot, continues to deliver revenues for theme parks, water parks and family attractions worldwide. Lo-Q’s largest customer is US theme park operator Six Flags who have signed up for an extension until the end of 2017. In addition Merlin Entertainments have added LEGOLAND Deutschland to Lo-Q’s portfolio.
With the Q-band, the world’s first virtual queuing solution for water parks, visitors can reserve water rides at a touchscreen kiosk. Agreements have been signed with a further eight Six Flags warerparks, Palace Entertainments (Splish Splash) and Zoombezi Bay.
It is anticipated that the second half will also see the effect of Lo-Q’s new business on revenue although the full impact will come as the products are established typically over a 3 or 4 year period.
New Products: Q-pay
Lo-Q confirmed that a worldwide agreement with Mastercard to develop a new contactless payment solution to be used in water parks is progressing in line with expectations. With Q-pay, Lo-Q’s mobile payment and ticketing solution, visitors are able to pay effortlessly for entrance tickets, ride reservation systems or products with no need to carry cash. And the easier it is to pay, the more visitors will spend. Q-pay can be easily integrated into existing systems and other Lo-Q products.
New Products: Q-smart
Lo-Q’s virtual queuing technology moves to smart phones with Q-smart, Lo-Q’s newest product which is currently being trialled in London. Visitors can explore, reserve, pay for and manage their rides with attraction info, maps, offers and all the mobile payment and ticketing features of Q-pay. A smartphone trial at a US theme park is scheduled this summer
Asia is Lo-Q’s fastest growing market geographically with the top 20 Asian parks growing attendance by some 9.4% in 2011. Lo-Q stated that they are also “exploring a partnership with a well established pan-Asian business to provide our entry point into this region.”