June 10, 2014 / 7:36 AM / 4 years ago

Eckoh's turnover jumps on contract wins, renewals

June 10 (Reuters) - Eckoh Plc, a provider of secure payments technology, posted a 28 percent jump in full-year turnover, as it won new contracts from Telefonica UK and Yodel and old clients renewed their contracts.

The company, which provides offerings ranging from speech recognition services to mobile payment secure gateways, said revenue rose to 14 million pounds ($24 million) in the year ended March 31, from 11 million pounds a year earlier.

EBITDA grew by 32 percent to 3.2 million pounds, Eckoh said, defining it as profit before tax adjusted for depreciation, amortisation, finance income, finance expense and expenses relating to share option schemes and acquisitions.

New contracts it had won in the second half of the financial year would be “fully implemented” this year, helping it clock growth in revenue and margins, the company added.

Eckoh, whose services help reduce the risk of fraud by processing payments without a caller needing to talk to a contact centre agent, is aiming to accelerate its growth in the United States, the world’s largest payments market.

The past year has been riddled with reports of large U.S. companies, including retailer Target Corp and internet giant eBay Inc, disclosing cyber security breaches.

Concerns of further breaches have seen wary companies adopt additional data security measures, potentially boosting the chances for Eckoh, which entered the U.S. market last year with its acquisition of secure payment products maker Veritape.

Eckoh said on Tuesday that later this year it expects to launch a solution, currently called OneProx, which protects card information inside a merchant’s IT environment.

Eckoh, which counts Electrolux AB, William Hill Plc and BSkyB as its customers, said it had signed a five year contract with a U.S. firm that would give it access to a number of large organisations in the country.

Hertfordshire, England-headquartered Eckoh did not name the customer or the organisations, but said that many of them handled millions of card transactions.

Eckoh shares were up about 4 percent at 46.84 pence at 0725 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The stock has almost tripled in value in the year to Monday’s close. ($1 = 0.5956 British Pounds) (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D‘Souza and Gopakumar Warrier)

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