IkeGPS in 'early-stage growth'

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 25/06/2014

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Ten-year-old technology manufacturer ikeGPS has asked in its prospectus for investors to treat it like an "early-stage growth company".

The Wellington firm is due to float on the NZX on July 23 and is offering investors 45 per cent of the company for $25 million, valuing the firm at $55m.

Accounts in its prospectus show ikeGPS' revenues fell by a third to $1.9m this year and its net loss more than doubled to $2.3m, bringing its accumulated losses to $10.1m.

The company forecast a revenue surge to $6.5m this year, and $14.3m the following year, on the back of a licensing deal with General Electric and a new product that uses smartphones and tablets instead of its own dedicated handheld computer.

IkeGPS makes devices that can be used from a distance to photograph, model and record the location of anything from cellphone towers and power poles to suspected landmines.

It estimated the potential annual market for its handheld devices among electricity utilities alone at US$700m. Its prospectus acknowledged the growth forecast was "inherently uncertain" and predicted the company's losses would rise to more than $22m by the end of the 2016 financial year.

IkeGPS' existing private shareholders cancelled a plan to cash out $6.6m of their investment through the initial public offering after strong demand saw all its new shares taken up by institutional investors and brokers during its bookbuild.

"Although ike has been operating since April 2003, it is only recently that ike's current business model has been developed and so investors should treat ike as an early-stage growth company," the prospectus said.

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