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Vista outperforms expectations

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/02/2017 Paul McBeth

Vista Group International will pay a bigger maiden dividend than analysts were picking after the cinema analytics software developer's profit was bolstered by a gain on its Chinese joint venture and as underlying earnings increased 17 per cent.

It will pay a final dividend of 4.61 cents per share, at the top of its policy range and more than the 4.4 cents expected by Forsyth Barr analyst Blair Galpin.

Vista signalled plans to start paying dividends when reporting its 2015 result after two years of going without when the software developer raised funds and went public.

Net profit jumped to $48.6 million in calendar 2016, from $5.8m a year earlier.

That included a $41.1m gain on the sale of Vista China to a joint venture with China's Beijing Weying Technology Co (WePiao), which the Kiwi company expects will expand its footprint in the Chinese film-going market.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to $17.6m in 2016 from $15.1m in 2015, while revenue climbed 36 per cent to $88.6m.

The cinema software firm has been bolting on new acquisitions since it went public in 2014 and the latest period includes purchases of a 50 per cent stake in London-based marketing firm Powster, a half-share of Dutch software developer Share Dimension, and 100 per cent of New Zealand's, which provides information about movie sessions.

The accounts show those acquisitions will cost as much as $12.6m if earn-out targets are met.

The company's Vista Cinema segment generated revenue growth of more than 20 per cent, outperforming internal expectations for a third year as it added 847 cinema sites to bring the total to 5557. It's estimated to have 38 per cent of the world's large circuit market.

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