Fingerprint Cards has issued a corporate update for the fourth quarter of 2020, showing a positive revenue trend despite significant write-downs of biometric technology assets.
Revenues for the quarter ended December 31 came in at SEK 369.4 million, a decline of three percent over the same period in 2019, but an increase of seven percent in “constant currency terms,” according to FPC CEO Christian Fredrikson. The chief executive added that the quarter’s revenues were also higher than those of Q3 2020.
As for the non-cash write-downs, they amounted to SEK 340.6 million, with SEK 267.7 million of that pertaining to Delta ID, the iris recognition specialist that Fingerprint Cards had acquired in 2017.
“Our positive view of the potential in iris recognition is unchanged, but we have made the assessment that future cash flows may be somewhat delayed, partly due to effects related to the corona pandemic,” explained Fredrikson in a statement.
The rest of the write-downs pertained to R&D projects and patents concerning under-display fingerprint sensors. This is one of the biggest new trends in mobile biometrics over the last couple of years, but Fredrikson explained that the write-downs were necessitated by significant decreases in Average Selling Prices of these kinds of sensors. “In other respects, we have an unchanged positive view of the potential in the under-display area,” he said.
Fredrikson went on to say that the company’s “underlying operating profit, adjusted for write-downs,” came in at SEK 14 million.
Looking ahead, FPC’s leadership expect ongoing challenges in the supply chain, in part because of strong demand for silicon chips. The company is working to secure additional suppliers, particularly in China, Fredrikson said.
Nevertheless, the year ahead offers the potential for biometric technology to “make serious inroads” in the mass markets of card-based payments and PCs – both of which are sectors in which Fingerprint Cards has established a solid footing. “We are still only in the infancy of development in a uniquely interesting industry of the future, in which Fingerprints will continue to play a leading role,” Fredrikson concluded.
February 17, 2021 – by Alex Perala