CEO Joe Fenech Conti has dubbed 2023 as a year of “pivotal moments” for ICT solutions provider Loqus Group.
His comments came in his review of the group’s Annual Report for the financial year ended 30th June 2023, released on Friday. In the report, the company announced a pre-tax profit of €884,300 at group level, a 44.8 per cent decrease from last year’s figures (FY2022: €1.6 million).
Loqus Group, formerly Datatrak Group, is an ICT solutions group with the mission of providing customers with products and services aimed at improving their cost effectiveness. It has five main business functions: infomobility, geomatics, ICT solutions, public sector business, and management services.
This came despite an increase in revenue, going up to €10.7 million (FY2022: €10 million), €1.6 million of which is attributable to a rise in revenue from its openFleet product line, a platform that enables clients to plan and optimise their end-to-end journey, tracking and delivering products and services to improve customer experience.
Personnel expenses were on the rise, going up from €4.6 million to €5.3 million, while there were also increases in professional and consultancy fees, travelling and accommodation, marketing expenses, and other administrative expenses. The average number of employees increased by 15 per cent, going up from 131 to 150 during the financial year.
Total assets and liabilities marginally expanded from €13.5 million to €13.6 million. The group’s Directors did not propose the payment of a dividend.
Reviewing the results, Mr Fenech Conti said that the figures underscore Loqus Group’s “consistent commitment to product research and development (R&D)”, before highlighting the dedication it has to achieving financial goals.
He stated that the group ended the financial year on an “excellent note” given the all-time high in revenue, before adding that 2023 proved to be a year of “pivotal moments” for the group.
Mr Fenech Conti said that during the financial year, Loqus Group renewed a “significant portion” of its longstanding contracts, while it also onboarded “multiple new accounts”.
“A milestone we’re particularly proud of is our expansion beyond the UK. Our services have been fully adopted and are operation in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Austria,” he explained.
He also pointed towards a number of challenges that have impacted the group’s financial outcomes, including the 18 per cent drop in revenue from sources other than openFleet, together with the group’s engagement with enterprise clients, mounting wage expenses, as well as foreign exchange fluctuations.
“In the face of economic downturns within our primary markets, we’re ambitiously setting our sights on revenue growth. As our clients grapple with dwindling revenues and volumes, it is imperative for us not only to maintain but also to enhance our revenue streams,” Mr Fenech Conti added.
He said that the “bedrock” of the group’s strategy is the “continual revenue enhancement” of its fleet management area, openFleet, which has shown “high growth”, both geographically and in terms of functionality. For the short to mid-term, Loqus Group is focusing on engaging with large enterprise customers, but in the mid to long-term, the strategy will pivot towards catering to smaller organisations, an approach that will “decrease implementation times and costs” and also broaden the group’s customer base.
“The openFleet product forms the lion’s share of our income. With its significant contribution, other business areas appear small and potentially distracting for our stakeholders. This disparity has fuelled discussions about reconsidering the prominence of non-openFleet business segments,” he continued.
The group has also turned its attention to focus more on environmental sustainability by pioneering urban delivering modes such as cargo e-bikes, pedestrian deliveries, and electric vehicles, which has proven “challenging”, yet has been made “feasible” with its real-time optimisation tools. “Such innovations are set to redefine urban deliveries in the upcoming decade,” Mr Fenech Conti commented.
Loqus Group is also in the process of instituting an ESG unit within its leadership structure.
Mr Fenech Conti concluded by expressing gratitude to the group’s team members and stakeholders for their “unwavering commitment, innovative spirit, and steadfast belief” in Loqus Group’s vision, turning it from a business into a “community bound by shared aspirations”.
Group Chairman Walter Bonnici stated that Loqus Group has experienced a “remarkable growth trajectory” in openFleet, which has acted as a “significant driver” of the group’s revenue.
“In addition, our efforts to expand our client network have borne fruit, with a particular emphasis on securing pivotal clients, leading to the anticipation of promising recurring revenues in the future,” he added.
He highlighted that Loqus Group’s “unwavering dedication to a long-term, profit-oriented growth strategy continues to yield results”. He said that as the group continues to navigate a number of challenges and opportunities ahead, it will remain steadfast in “pursuit of excellence”, prompting positive financial results and a strengthened market position.
Family businesses account for more than 70% of Malta’s SMEs, and are hence vital components of the local economy.
Astrid and Juanito Camilleri said the strong reviews are resulting in steady export growth.
The bank also appointed a new Head of Internal Audit.
He has also been appointed Board Member at JA Europe.