NEXT Biometrics Finds Cause for Optimism Amid Losses

Mobile Fingerprint BiometricsNEXT Biometrics has announced its fourth-quarter results for 2014, and they are a mixed bag, with strong sales and high costs. The company says it brought in NOK 4.4 million in revenue in the fourth quarter and 6.7 million for the year, but its payroll, operating, and R&D costs resulted in a net loss of  NOK 33.4 million for the quarter and  NOK 79.7 million for the year.

In a press release, NEXT CEO Tore Etholm-Idsøe was keen to emphasize the revenue boost in Q4, crediting it to “securing the design-win with one of the major international players after 12 months of intense effort and in competition with the world`s leading fingerprint sensor suppliers,” which he called “a key milestone” for the quarter. That deal with a top multinational came on the heels of a major order from a partner in the China market in November.

But the company accrued some major costs, and its net losses for the quarter were markedly higher than those for Q3 – an increase the company credited to “to increased activities within Sales and R&D, including test production and one-offs.” It’s possible that much of that activity related to major new developments like the company’s latest “Oyster” USB fingerprint scanner, which is compatible with Windows 7 and 8.1. Whether such high-profile products will pay off in the coming year, and whether the company can continue to attract tier-1 partners, will likely determine how the company is able to rebound over the next year.