Fingerprint Cards swings to second-quarter profit but sales fall

STOCKHOLM, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Swedish biometrics company Fingerprint Cards swung to a small profit in the second quarter but said sales fell due to lower average selling prices.

The company, which competes with China’s Goodix, Synaptics in the United States and Taiwan’s Egis Technology, on Thursday reported an operating profit of 2.3 million crowns ($239,210) versus a loss of 468 million in the same period a year ago.

It said that while gross margins widened from a year earlier, they shrank from the first quarter due to a lower share of software revenues and a less favourable customer mix.

Sales fell 2% year-on-year to 382 million crowns, or by 12% in constant currencies, despite higher delivery volumes.

The company launched its first in-display fingerprint sensor for smartphones this year. It said on Thursday achieving a position in that market was a priority and it aimed to capture a significant share.

It also makes biometrics solutions for smart cards, which are being tried in 20 market tests currently. “We will likely be able to report on more tests in the near future,” it said.

Chief Executive Christian Fredrikson said that while average selling prices had continued to decline, the share of new and more cost effective sensors in Fingerprints’ product mix had increased.

“I estimate that our market position in capacitive sensors for smartphones has been strengthened, with a market share that is currently somewhat higher than the figure for the full-year 2018,” he said in the report.

Fingerprint Cards’ shares had by Wednesday’s close risen 74% this year, to 18 crowns. The stock, however, has fallen significantly from a 136 crown record high in late 2015.

In early trade on Thursday, they were down 4%.

$1 = 9.6150 Swedish crowns Reporting by Anna Ringstrom. Editing by Jane Merriman