(Alliance News) - PCI-PAL PLC on Tuesday said that it had built up significant "sales momentum" towards the end of the 2023 calendar year.

PCI-PAL, formerly known as IPPlus PLC, is a Suffolk, England-based cloud provider of secure payment solutions for business communications. Shares in the company were down 13% at 48.25 pence each in London on Tuesday afternoon.

The company expects revenue to be GBP8.7 million for the six months ended December 31, in line with management expectations and up 19% from GBP7.3 million the previous year.

Annual recurring revenue increased 23% in the period to GBP14.7 million from GBP11.9 million a year ago. The first half of financial 2024 was also the first period of positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation since the company relaunched as PCI-PAL in 2016, though precise figures were not provided.

New business sales annual contract value was GBP1.6 million for the six months, 9% ahead of a year prior. Significant contributions came from PCI's "market-leading" partner eco-system, the company said, which made up 87% of ACV signed to date.

In November, PCI announced a global strategic partnership with Zoom Video Communications Inc. Zoom's integration of PCI's patented cloud-to-cloud methods are due to roll out in the third quarter of the current financial year.

Since the period end, PCI said that sales have continued to grow, and that "sales momentum" was driving the company towards its profitability objectives.

As of December 31, PCI had GBP540,000 in net cash, down from GBP1.2 million in June. PCI said that this was due to GBP1.1 million being paid out by the company in costs relating to the ongoing patent dispute with Sycurio Ltd, a Surrey-based payment software provider.

Sycurio alleged that PCI's Agent Assist speech-recognition system, used by PCI contact centres to ensure secure telephone payments, had infringed upon its US and UK patents for similar technologies.

In September, a UK High Court ruled in PCI's favour, concluding that Sycurio's patent was invalid due to "obviousness from two sources of prior art". It was also decided that, even were the patents valid, PCI's Agent Assist tool would not be in infringement.

Sycurio was ordered to pay PCI's GBP1.1 million costs as a result, but had its application for appeal admitted in late January by the UK Court of Appeal.

On Tuesday, PCI said that the "unfounded lawsuit" was brought against the company "in an attempt to disrupt PCI PAL's business". PCI believes the risk of the case having a material impact on the company has lessened as a result of the UK court decision, but said that US litigation is ongoing with a trial scheduled for February 2025.

Chief Executive Officer James Barham said: "We continue to grow strongly and this performance is testament to our long term, partner-first strategy. The first half saw us sell more ACV proportionately through our partner eco-system than ever before. We believe we are well positioned to capitalise on this base to drive expansion business through that eco-system, particularly with the rollout of our newly enhanced product-set and the addition of Zoom as a significant new partner."

PCI-PAL plans to announce its results for the interim period in the week beginning February 26.

By Hugh Cameron, Alliance News reporter

Comments and questions to newsroom@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2024 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.