Fingerprint Cards is back in the black in its latest quarterly update, showing a slight profit for Q2 2019 after a challenging period of adjustment to dropping ASPs in the mobile fingerprint sensor market.
Revenues for the April-June period came in at SEK 381.8 million. That’s a two percent drop against Fingerprint Cards’ revenues of SEK 389.9 million in Q2 of 2018, but in a statement announcing the results, FPC CEO Christian Fredrikson explained that the company actually saw a 10 percent increase in sales year over year, and that the dip in revenues reflected the plummeting Average Sale Price of fingerprint sensors in the mobile market.
In any case, Fingerprint Cards is now reporting a profit of SEK 2.7 million for Q2 of 2019 – a significant improvement compared against its loss of SEK 467.9 million a year ago. Cost reduction seems to be an important factor in this year, given that FPC’s average number of employees has shrank from 347 in Q2 of 2018 to 208 in the latest quarter.
Commenting further on the mobile market’s declining ASPs, Fredrikson highlighted his company’s shift to more cost-effective sensors, and said there will be more to come. “We will soon be ready for the next step by launching yet another new generation of sensors, based on FPC1511, which will be even smaller and thus more cost-effective,” he said, adding later, “I expect the first smartphones to use this new sensor to be launched as early as this year.”
What’s Next in Mobile Biometrics
Fredrikson also noted the company’s somewhat ambiguous situation with Samsung’s Galaxy A10s, which may incorporate FPC sensors or sensor from another supplier, though Fingerprint Cards “has received orders and delivered sensors within the context of this project.” Notably, Fredrikson said that his company “is also working on an additional production project that could potentially lead to Fingerprints’ technology being included in another future model from Samsung.”
On a possibly related topic, the FPC CEO also pointed to the emergence of in-display fingerprint sensors, which he asserted have “led to biometric solutions for smartphones once again becoming a growing market.” Fingerprint Cards launched its first in-display sensor earlier this year, and Fredrikson says that “achieving a position in this market is a priority” for the company.
… and for Payment Cards
As for the emerging biometric payment cards market that has dominated so many fingerprint sensor specialists’ horizons, Fredrikson noted that Fingerprint Cards’ T-Shape sensor has been used “in all 20 market tests of biometric payment cards announced worldwide to date,” adding that the company “will like be able to report on more tests in the near future”. He also highlighted the success of FPC’s partner NXP in attaining CAST certification from Mastercard, which he called “yet another indication that we are now approaching a broader commercial roll-out”.
That bodes well for fingerprint sensor specialist, and, together with its increased sales in the fingerprint sensor market that has been its mainstay, suggests FPC has regained a certain degree of stability after the suffering the strongest effects of the saturation of the mobile fingerprint sensor market.
August 19, 2019 – by Alex Perala