Touchstar shares drop more than 12% as revenues fall

Mobile data computing solutions company Touchstar PLC (AIM:TST) saw its shares slide during Monday trading, with first half sales hampered by ‘crisis conditions’.

Revenues for the first half of the year ended 30 June 2020 finished at £3.18 million, down from the previous first half sales figure of £3.64 million. Similarly, its revenue from continuing operations also fell, down from £3.37 million to £3.18 million.

Despite these falls, Touchstar pulled off a remarkable turnaround, swinging from a £518,000 operating loss during H1 2019, to a £139,000 profit during H1 2020. Further, it swung from a trading loss before exceptional items of £215,000 and a loss after tax of £357,000, to a trading profit before exceptional items of £139,000 and a profit before tax of £150,000.

Shareholders also enjoyed a turnaround in fortunes, with basic earnings per share swinging from a 4.21p loss to a 1.77p profit year-on-year.

Also, the company’s overall balance sheet was far more upbeat at the end of the recent half-year period, with £1.46 million in cash versus a £204,000 overdraft at the end of the previous half-year.

Touchstar response

Responding to a challenging period of pandemic trading, and the turnaround in the Group’s financials, company Chairman, Ian Martin, commented:

Touchstar came into 2020 with momentum from a strong order book, clear strategic plans and a solid balance sheet. In the six months ended 30 June 2020 we have had to demonstrate resilience under crisis conditions. It is a real achievement that Touchstar traded profitably, generated cash, supported customers and most importantly looked after staff in a period of a global pandemic and the largest economic contraction in a generation – these are not normal times.”

“We continue to outperform the road map we put in place in February to navigate the business through until 2022.”

“Our motivation is not just to be a survivor of this crisis, the ambition is to emerge with solid finances, improved products, all our talent and renewed energy – we remain on track.”

Investor notes

Despite some considerable and positive takeaways, the downturn in Touchstar revenues saw the company’s shares fall 12.38% or 6.50p, to 46.00p per share 07/09/20 12:00 GMT, following the publication of its results on Monday. This price is well ahead of its year-to-date nadir of 22.50p on March 24, but shy of its year-to-date high of 61.50p on August 19.

The company’s market cap currently stands at £3.98 million.

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Senior Journalist at the UK Investor Magazine. Also a contributing writer at the Investment Observer, UK Property Journal and UK Startup Magazine. Postgraduate of King's College London with a specialisation in Business Ethics. Interested in Development Economics and David Hume.