The Board of Directors of Datatrak Holdings plc met on 14 June to discuss and approve the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2004 and published the preliminary statement of operations. As in previous years, the Directors have not proposed a dividend for distribution.
Turnover for the Datatrak Group increased by 31% during 2004 to Lm1.2 million. The Group’s turnover represents local sales amounting to Lm967,868 (2003: Lm896,963), sales in other European Union countries amounting to Lm26,388 (2003: Lm23,299) and sales in Africa amounting to Lm210,404 (2003: Nil). The Group sustained a loss on ordinary activities before taxation and minority interests amounting to Lm359,127. After accounting for the recognition of a net tax credit of Lm118,510 and profits attributable to minority interests of Lm8,990, the Group’s loss for the year narrowed to Lm249,607 compared to Lm424,778 in 2003. The loss per share amounted to 1c6.
During the year, the Group continued with its extensive marketing exercise to obtain long-term contracts. It is presently in various stages of negotiation with customers in Africa for the provision of nationwide data tracking systems.
On 22 December 2003, the Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding with investors from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whereby it was established that Datatrak MENA Ltd. (‘DML’) was to provide Datatrak Nigeria Limited (‘DNL’) with the required technology and know-how for the installation and management of fully integrated secure location, tracking and security system infrastructures. During the year DML started to undertake the first In-Country-Survey contract in Nigeria. DML is expected to finalise the In-Country Survey by July 2005, after which the Group will be in a position to negotiate the Supply & License Agreement with DNL for the roll-out of the first network in Abuja, followed by other networks in the Delta region and Lagos. DML has a minority shareholding in DNL with the other shares in the hands of Nigerian investors.
Following balance sheet date (December 2004), the Group commenced arrangements for the subscription of equity interest in Datatrak East Africa Ltd. to be formed in Sudan. The formation of Datatrak East Africa Ltd. will enable the Group to tap into the Sudanese market for the introduction of tracking technology.
Also following balance sheet date, the Directors state that the Group has started the implementation of the first restructuring phase on its local network operations through Datatrak Systems Limited to meet current technology standards in the tracking business.
For the current year ending 31 December 2005 the Directors expect to record significantly increased turnover from European Union markets through Datatrak Solutions International Limited during 2005. In 2004, the Datatrak Group signed a three-year contract with Siemens VDO Trading Limited (UK) through Datatrak Solutions International Limited (DSol) for the marketing of Datatrak On-Line, a web-based fleet tracking software. While during the first period of operations, the subsidiary reported losses, the forecasts for the year ending 31 December 2005 show that DSol should be able to report a break-even position primarily as a result of significantly increased turnover levels. During the first quarter ended 31 March 2005, the subsidiary reported a profit of Lm24,240.