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Business & Economy

Vianet Group secures contracts worth £10 million

A data monitoring firm known for offering services via the Internet of Things has secured contracts worth around £10 million.

Vianet Group says it has negotiated three deals with “leading” vending operators.

The Stockton-based company says the combined contracts will cover 20,000 units and generate revenues in the region of £10 million over their three to five-year durations.

The deals will be delivered by the company’s Smart Machines division, which uses technology to connect devices, such as vending machines, to the Internet of Things remotely, providing operators with real-time information on their assets’ performance.

James Dickson, chairman, said the contracts represent a good start to the company’s financial year, adding it remains on course to meet market economic expectations.

He also revealed current commercial operations director Craig Brocklehurst has been appointed to head up its Smart Zones division ahead of the forthcoming departure of Steve Alton.

Mr Alton was recently appointed chief executive of the British Institute of Innkeeping.

According to Vianet’s financial results for the year to March 31, revealed earlier this year, Smart Machines adjusted operating profit of £1.41 million – which included a £420,000 contribution from the previously acquired Vendman, a software-based operation used to oversee retailers’ stock control, pricing and data management – grew 31.8 per cent from £1.07 million.

Smart Machines added 10,285 new connected devices in the period, compared to 4,490 in 2018, helped by the roll-out of cloud-based contactless payment solutions.

Smart Zones, known for services such as iDraught, developed to scrutinise beer volume and flow to reduce waste, recorded adjusted operating profit of £4.48 million.

Bosses said the figure represented a positive result given headwinds in the UK pub sector.