Datascan to make exports its thrust


BY ELAINE ANG

POINT-OF-SALE solutions (POS) provider Datascan Bhd is to count on export business in achieving a profit after tax of RM6mil on revenue of RM40mil in 2008. 

Chief executive officer C. J. Ang said the projected profit and revenue were considered conservative if the company's market expansion strategy that would increase export revenue went according to plan. 

“Our thrust will be on overseas growth and it will be a quantum leap. 

“Although export business currently contributes only 10% to our revenue, this segment is expected to increase to 30% by 2008,” Ang told Starbiz in Petaling Jaya. 

(From left) Transight Technologies Sdn Bhd chief technology officer Teng Le Woi, Datascan Bhd executive director Koay Teng Heng and chief executive offcier C.J. Ang.

Ang said the company had come a long way from being import-dependent and a distributor of foreign software to one which is capable of developing its own POS software solution, Transight Smart Service Suite (TSSS), for the hospitality, food and beverage (F&B) and retail industries. 

“Our focus going forward will be more export oriented. We plan to penetrate the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam this year; China, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea in 2005; Europe and South Africa in 2006; and the Middle East in 2007,” he said. 

Ang said the company was ahead of its export plans. “We now have a subsidiary in Singapore and distributors in Indonesia and Brunei. We have officially appointed two distributors in China in February and supplying our POS solutions to Chilli Padi, a Malaysian restaurant in Australia. 

“Our growth in Indonesia has been very good and we managed to secure eight customers in three months. We are also in talks with certain parties in the F&B industry in South Korea to form business partnerships.” 

In order to support its product development and expansion plans, Ang said Datascan had submitted an application to be listed on the Mesdaq market. 

The company planned to raise RM11.2mil from the listing exercise, of which RM4mil would be used for research and development, RM2mil for overseas expansion, RM3.1mil for working capital, RM800,000 for infrastructure and network and RM1.3mil for listing expenses. 

“Approval is still pending from the MSEB and Securities Commission but we hope to be listed by the middle of this year,” he said. 

Ang said Datascan was very positive about its future outlook as there were vast opportunities locally and abroad, especially with the improving economy. 

“The F&B market is resilient and is expected to grow strongly in the coming years. There is also a large replacement market and growing awareness by companies to computerise and upgrade their POS systems to remain competitive,” he said. 

Ang said about 35% of the company's revenue came from the fast-food chain sector, 30% from 4-and 5-star hotels and cruises, 25% from F&B and entertainment outlets and 10% from clubs and retail outlets. Among the company's major clients are the Genting group, Berjaya group, Kentucky Fried Chicken, A&W, Shakey’s Pizza, Sushi King, Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Café, American Chilli’s, TGI Friday's, The Ship Restaurants, Victoria Station, Piccolo Mondo and Souled Out. 

“About 70% to 80% of the 4- and 5-star hotels in the country are our customers,” he said. 

Datascan also distributes the Posiflex brand of PC-based POS hardware and peripherals from Taiwan. 

The company distributes the Jade EMV terminals from South Korea's CyberNet Inc which were targeted at financial institutions.  

Executive director Koay Teng Heng said the company was projecting a revenue of about RM25mil this year with RM12mil to be derived from the provision of POS software, hardware and peripherals, Europay-Mastercard-Visa (EMV)-compliant smart card terminals and customised software development services. 

It is also looking at a revenue contribution of RM6mil from remedial and preventive maintenance services, software support services and systems implementation services; and RM7mil from network services. 

Datascan's marketing plans include building on its customer base to provide end-to-end solutions, enhancing its strong distribution network and increasing product and services sales for synergistic non-POS products and non-Datascan product services.  

“Our revenue from maintenance and network services is small now but we plan to grow them in line with the expansion of the TSSS as well as third party support in Malaysia and Asia-Pacific region,” Koay said, adding that Datascan was also focusing on the provision of information technology outsourcing services, which it planned to roll-out this year. 

Ang said Datascan, which currently has nine service branches nationwide, planned to open a branch in Kuala Terengganu this year. The company would open one service branch each in Kota Baru, Sibu and Miri next year.  

Datascan recorded a loss of RM1.3mil on revenue of RM16.5mil for the year ended Dec 31, 2003. The loss was mainly due to the disposal of a subsidiary.  

Related Stories:CEO: Datascan dedicated to R&D 

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