Board changes

Stephen White hired from Comcast as Chief Operating and Financial Officer; additional strategic hires made

Forbidden Technologies plc (AIM: FBT), the developer and seller of Blackbird, the workstation experience in the cloud, announces that it is creating a new board role of “Chief Operating and Financial Officer”. The Company has appointed, subject to usual due diligence checks, Stephen White to this role.  Stephen is currently Vice President Finance, UK and EMEA Emerging Markets at Comcast’s NBC Universal’s Networks Division and will start with the Company after serving his notice period.  It is currently anticipated that Stephen will join the Board and commence his role in April 2019.

Stephen has 25 years experience in senior finance roles with media companies such as NBC Universal, BBC Worldwide (now known as BBC Studios), The Walt Disney Company and Jetix after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst and Young. A further announcement, which will include the required disclosures under the AIM Rules for Companies for the appointment of a director to the board, will be made in due course.

The Company also announces that Jonathan Lees, the Company’s current Finance Director, will step down from the board when Stephen joins the Company, and will leave the Company to pursue other opportunities after an appropriate handover period.

In addition to the creation of the Chief Operating and Financial Officer role, the Company has recently made a number of important appointments including Adrian Lambert as Marketing Director and Oliver Parker as a Strategic Account Director.  The Company has also hired George Maddocks in its Pre-Sales team and appointed a senior developer.

David Main, Chairman of Forbidden, said: “With our strategy in place, and since a successful fundraising, we have been looking to add to our capabilities to grow and deliver against our focus. The creation of a combined Chief Operating and Financial Officer role is part of this strategy. I look forward to welcoming Stephen White on to the management team and the board.  We have also recently added new talent to our sales and marketing capabilities.

“The board would like to thank Jonathan for all his hard work over the last 5 years. He has been very effective in his role as Finance Director, including helping us in several successful fundraisings. We all wish him well with his future endeavours.”

Ian McDonough, CEO of Forbidden, added: “I am looking forward to welcoming Stephen White on to our team. We have made some important new hires to our sales and marketing team already as we build the right capabilities to take Blackbird to the global market.

“Thank you to Jonathan for his contribution to managing and guiding the business to its current position.”

Enquiries:

Forbidden Technologies plc
Ian McDonough, CEO
Tel: +44 (0)20 8879 7245

Allenby Capital Limited (Nominated Adviser and Broker)
Nick Naylor
John Depasquale
Nicholas Chambers
Tel: +44 (0)20 3328 5656

About Forbidden Technologies plc

Forbidden Technologies plc (AIM: FBT, www.forbidden.co.uk) floated in February 2000.

Forbidden develops, markets and licenses a powerful cloud video platform using our patented Blackbird technology. The technology underpins multiple applications, which are used by rights holders, broadcasters, sports and news video specialists, post-production houses, other mass market digital video channels and corporations.

The Blackbird technology allows full visibility on multi-location digital content, improves time to market for live content such as video clips and highlights for social media distribution which results in improved monetisation of video content.

Blackbird® is a registered trademark of Forbidden Technologies plc.

Websites:
www.forbidden.co.uk
www.blackbird.video

Interim Results

Forbidden Technologies plc (AIM: FBT), the developer and seller of cloud video platform technology using its patented Blackbird technology, announces its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2018.

Financial highlights

* Invoiced sales increased to GBP489k (6 months to 30 June 2017: GBP355k)

* Revenues increased to GBP377k (6 months to 30 June 2017: GBP316k)

* Deferred revenue increased by 73 per cent. to GBP252k from GBP146k at 31 December 2017

* Contracted orders and deferred revenue increased by 68 per cent to GBP648k from GBP385k at 31 December 2017

* Operating costs of GBP1,289k (6 months to 30 June 2017: GBP1,190k)

* EBITDA loss of GBP965k (6 months to 30 June 2017: GBP930k)

* Net loss before tax GBP1,274k (6 months to 30 June 2017: GBP1,166k)

* Year on year operational spend, including capital expenditure of GBP1,408k (30(th) June 2017: GBP1,331k)

* GBP5.44 million of net funds raised from the issue of 115,000,000 shares at 5p in June 2018

* Liquid funds of GBP6,197k at 30 June 2018 (31 December 2017: GBP1,752k)

Operational highlights

* New significant six-figure US deal with TownNews.com to provide production infrastructure to Meredith Corporation’s 17 regional news networks reaching in excess of 11% of US TV households

* Increase in longer-term, higher value licensing contracts reflected in higher deferred revenue and stronger order book

* Expansion in eSports industry in US in live and post-event edit and production

* Repositioning of the business under the Blackbird brand

* Blackbird launch in Japan in a preliminary collaboration with a tier 1 telecommunications company

* Significant progress in our JavaScript transformation working with Leaning Technologies Ltd

* Technology alliance with Veritone, owner of aiWARE, to provide Artificial Intelligence for the generation of metadata for video search capabilities

Post Period End Highlights

* Pilot successfully completed at North American broadcaster and sports rights holder

* Secured first customer in the fast growing localisation sector using our Blackbird Localisation Cloud solution for international OTT platform

* Renewal of the infrastructure contract with our large US New York based regional sports network

* Promising engagement in multiple discussions around OEM providers using our ultra-light video codec within their solutions.

* Exhibiting this week at IBC in Amsterdam on Microsoft’s stand as a tier one partner of Microsoft Azure

Ian McDonough, Forbidden Technologies Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“This has been a very busy period for the company involving a successful and over-subscribed placing raising GBP5.75 million, the repositioning of our product suite under Blackbird and the new product launches of Blackbird Ascent, Forte and Edge. The invoiced sales in this period indicate a record first-half performance for the company. We have brought in fresh thinking in many areas of the team including product management, sales and pre-sales.

Post the recent placing, we closed a large OEM contract with TownNews.com and monthly invoicing will be starting in October. The deal means Blackbird will be used in 17 regional news networks reaching 11% of the US population. Our strategic focus on North America has had good traction in other sectors too and we continue to focus on building our base of these recurring revenue infrastructure contracts. In recent weeks we have secured our first customer in the fast growing localisation sector and we are progressing well with prospects for a dailies solution. These both represent sectors that Blackbird can add tremendous value to through increased speed and reduced cost.

As part of our strategy to significantly increase our addressable audience and use cases, we have developed and launched a Mac version of the Blackbird Edge, which enables users to ingest content through a wide variety of devices ranging from a laptop to the latest iMac Pro. macOS Edge has already been used by multiple clients in testing and remote environments where bandwidth and connectivity is limited.

In order to future proof Blackbird and simplify onboarding, Forbidden will launch at the IBC trade show a JavaScript version of its Blackbird editing products, Forte and Ascent. These are designed to run in any modern computer and browser combination without installation or configuration.

To assist codec licensing, as well as publication and distribution using Blackbird, development of the Blackbird Player continues as we discuss its potential application with prospects.

The growth of commercial cloud, and the size of the major players involved, has created an opportunity to integrate more closely with cloud providers. At IBC, we will be showcasing the Blackbird Azure workflow used by Deltatre as infrastructure on a major US sport.

These four products mark a huge step forward technically. They dramatically increase our addressable audience and overall market opportunity as well as helping to future-proof the business. They position us well to add value in the fast-growing cloud market.”

Enquiries

Forbidden Technologies plc
Ian McDonough, CEO
Jonathan Lees, Finance Director
Tel: +44 (0)20 8879 7245

Allenby Capital Limited (Nominated Adviser and Broker)
Nick Naylor
John Depasquale
Nicholas Chambers
Tel: +44 (0)20 3328 5656

About Forbidden Technologies plc

Forbidden Technologies plc (AIM: FBT, www.forbidden.co.uk) floated in February 2000.

Forbidden develops, markets and licenses a powerful cloud video platform using our patented Blackbird technology. The technology underpins multiple applications which are used by rights holders, broadcasters, sports and news video specialists, eSports, post-production houses, other mass market digital video channels and corporations.

The Blackbird technology allows full visibility on multi-location digital content, improves time to market for live content such as video clips and highlights for social media distribution which results in improved monetisation of video content.

Blackbird(R) is a registered trademark of Forbidden Technologies plc.

All other trademarks acknowledged

Websites
www.forbidden.co.uk
www.blackbird.video

Social Media
www.linkedin.com/company/forbidden
www.twitter.com/forbiddentech
www.facebook.com/ForbiddenTechnologies/

Chairman’s statement

In the six-month period to 30 June 2018, we started building sales growth momentum through licensing our Blackbird cloud video solutions as part of the core media infrastructure for companies, and generating SaaS based repeatable revenues. Inevitably as we focus on larger contracts our sales growth rate can be uneven and vary from period to period.

Our core metrics are showing the rebuilding of this growth momentum. In the first half of the year vs. the same period last year, we are showing revenue growth of 19% and invoiced sales growth of 38%, and we have deferred revenue growth of 73% from the beginning of the year. In addition, in North America, our core market for growth, invoiced sales have increased 100% in the first half vs. the same period last year, whilst our level of repeat sales as a % of total sales has grown to 65% vs. 54% in the same period last year.

We are confident in our cloud video OEM and infrastructure strategy, particularly in North America. The global cloud video streaming market was valued at US$5.2 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow by 18.9% CAGR to US$16.6 billion by 2023. North America is the leading player in this market and the largest vertical segment is Media and Entertainment. (PR Newswire April 2018)

We now have the core components of our strategy in place. These core components include a significantly stronger North American commercial team, the strong master brand, Blackbird, and specific products, starting with Blackbird Edge, Blackbird Ascent and Blackbird Forte. We have also converted major parts of our solutions into JavaScript, a vital requirement for future infrastructure prospects.

Our commercial successes in the first half of the year include expanding the use of Blackbird in the eSports industry with Production Associates’ live pro-celebrity ‘Fortnite’ event in Los Angeles, and ESP Gaming, a content creation company based in Las Vegas where we are part of their regular infrastructure. We deployed Blackbird for the first time in a complete fixed rig and post production cycle in the UK and launching Blackbird in Japan with a Tier 1 telecommunications operator. In addition, we have significantly expanded our relationship with TownNews.com to help Meredith Corporation deliver news content across 17 regional news networks (invoicing starts in October).

Our technology and product development team are intensively focused on supporting our commercial opportunities going forward. One of the areas we are now working on is to further develop Blackbird’s social media integration. We have also created technology partnerships with Leaning Technologies, who are working with us to move critical platform solutions to JavaScript, and Veritone, who with their access to multiple AI cognitive engines, can automate the generation of frame accurate metadata to enrich content, make it searchable and integrate it into Blackbird.

Finally, during the period we successfully raised GBP5.75 million, pre-expenses. This provides us with a strong financial foundation that is essential to supporting our position as a provider of media infrastructure solutions. We can now also selectively strengthen and invest in our commercial and product delivery capabilities as we build sales momentum. We believe this financing provides us with the cash requirements to take us through to profitability.

Financial

Our core growth metrics indicate good sales growth momentum. Revenue increased 19% to GBP377k for the six-month period ending 30(th) June 2018 versus GBP316k in the corresponding period last year. Invoiced sales increased 38% to GBP489k for the six-month period ending 30(th) June 2018 versus GBP355k in the corresponding period last year. Deferred revenue on the balance sheet (already invoiced, to be earned in future accounting periods) was up 73% to GBP252k compared to GBP146k at 31(st) December 2017. Contracted orders and deferred revenue combined increased 68% to GBP648k from GBP385k at 31(st) December 2017.

In North America, our core market for growth, invoiced sales increased 100% year on year to GBP92k. Overall, invoiced sales in live sports increased by 59% year on year to GBP164k.

Operating costs during the period were GBP1,289k versus GBP1,190k in the corresponding period last year, net of capitalised development costs of GBP111k (2017: GBP103k). Total spend including capitalised expenditure was GBP1,408k versus GBP1,331k in the corresponding period last year. The EBITDA loss for the period was GBP965k versus GBP930k, and the loss for the period was GBP1,274k versus GBP1,166k in the corresponding period last year.

Cash used in operations in the period was GBP902k (30 June 2017: GBP825k). The Company had liquid funds of GBP6,197k at 30 June 2018 (31 December 2017: GBP1,752k). This cash balance includes a successful fundraising in June 2018 which generated total net cash, after fundraising costs, of GBP5,441k.

Outlook

We start the second half with contracted orders including deferred revenue of GBP648k up from GBP385k at 31 December 2017. This includes the significant six-digit deal with TownNews.com announced in June, for which the first sales invoices will be raised and revenue earned in October 2018.

We continue to progress our OEM strategy, of which Townnews.com is a good example, with multiple discussions with other large scale North American companies. In this context, the pilot with a major North American media company has successfully completed.

The conversion of our Java solutions to JavaScript is already largely complete, and the first phases of this will be launched this month at IBC 2018 (International Broadcasting Convention). Our integrated commercial cloud workflow that we have built together with Microsoft Azure and Deltatre will also be exhibited. We’re looking forward to a strong IBC where we will be partnering Microsoft on the Azure stand.

The board continue to believe in our strategy and look forward to the future with confidence.

UNAUDITED AND CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF
COMPREHENSIVE INCOME FOR THE SIX MONTHSED 30
JUNE 2018

Unaudited
Half year Unaudited Audited
to Half year Year to
30 June to 31
2018 30 June December
2017 2017
GBP GBP GBP
CONTINUING OPERATIONS

Revenue 377,438 316,349 758,835
Cost of Sales (53,800) (56,026) (151,113)
========================================= ============= ============ ============

GROSS PROFIT 323,638 260,323 607,722

Operating costs (1,289,026) (1,190,336) (2,452,158)
========================================= ============= ============ ============

EARNINGS BEFORE INTEREST, TAXATION,
DEPRECIATION AND AMORTISATION (965,388) (930,013) (1,844,436)

Depreciation (21,318) (19,474) (47,091)
Amortisation (264,580) (254,785) (512,549)
Employee share option costs (23,832) 37,655 42,137
(309,730) (236,604) (517,503)

OPERATING LOSS (1,275,118) (1,166,617) (2,361,939)

Finance income 970 160 671
========================================= ============= ============ ============

LOSS BEFORE INCOME TAX (1,274,148) (1,166,457) (2,361,268)

Income Tax – – 25,268
========================================= ============= ============ ============

LOSS FOR THE PERIOD (1,274,148) (1,166,457) (2,336,000)

TOTAL COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
FOR THE PERIOD (1,274,148) (1,166,457) (2,336,000)
========================================= ============= ============ ============
Earnings per share expressed
in pence per share:
Basic – continuing and total
operations (0.68p) (0.65p) (1.29p)
========================================= ============= ============ ============

UNAUDITED AND CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION

30 JUNE 2018

Unaudited Unaudited Audited
at 30 June at 30 June at 31 December
2018 2017 2017
GBP GBP GBP
ASSETS
NON-CURRENT ASSETS

Intangible assets 884,060 1,192,376 1,038,095

Property, plant and equipment 46,479 73,154 59,750
================================ ============= ============= ================

930,539 1,265,530 1,097,845
=============================== ============= ============= ================

CURRENT ASSETS

Trade and other receivables 323,350 372,815 221,095

Tax receivable – – 25,268

Cash and cash equivalents 6,196,701 2,768,870 1,752,349
——————————– ————- ————- —————-

6,520,051 3,141,685 1,998,712
=============================== ============= ============= ================

TOTAL ASSETS 7,450,590 4,407,215 3,096,557
================================ ============= ============= ================

EQUITY
SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY

Called up share capital 2,363,890 1,443,890 1,443,890

Share premium 21,456,570 16,935,301 16,935,301

Capital contribution reserve 125,000 125,000 125,000

Retained earnings (17,083,369) (14,659,028) (15,833,053)

TOTAL EQUITY 6,862,091 3,845,163 2,671,138
================================ ============= ============= ================

CURRENT LIABILITIES

Trade and other payables 588,499 562,052 425,419
================================ ============= ============= ================

TOTAL LIABILITIES 588,499 562,052 425,419
================================ ============= ============= ================

TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES 7,450,590 4,407,215 3,096,557
================================ ============= ============= ================

UNAUDITED AND CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY

FOR THE SIX MONTHSED 30 JUNE 2018

Capital
Called up contribution Retained
share capital Share premium reserve earnings Total equity
GBP GBP GBP GBP GBP

Balance at 1
January 2017 1,443,890 16,935,301 125,000 (13,454,916) 5,049,275

Changes in equity

Share based payment – – – (37,655) (37,655)

Total comprehensive
income – – – (1,166,457) (1,166,457)
———————- ————— ————– ————– ————- ————-

Balance at 30
June 2017 1,443,890 16,935,301 125,000 (14,659,028) 3,845,163
———————- ————— ————– ————– ————- ————-

Changes in equity

Share based payment – – – (4,482) (4,482)

Total comprehensive
income – – – (1,169,543) (1,169,543)
====================== =============== ============== ============== ============= =============

Balance at 31
December 2017 1,443,890 16,935,301 125,000 (15,833,053) 2,671,138
====================== =============== ============== ============== ============= =============

Changes in equity

Issue of share
capital 920,000 4,521,269 – – 5,441,269

Share based payment – – – 23,832 23,832

Total comprehensive
income – – – (1,274,148) (1,274,148)
====================== =============== ============== ============== ============= =============

Balance at 30
June 2018 2,363,890 21,456,570 125,000 (17,083,369) 6,862,091
====================== =============== ============== ============== ============= =============

UNAUDITED AND CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 JUNE 2018

Unaudited Unaudited Audited
Half year Half year Year to
to to 31
30 June 30 June December
2018 2017 2017

GBP GBP GBP
EARNINGS BEFORE INTEREST, TAXATION,
DEPRECIATION AND AMORTISATION (965,388) (930,013) (1,844,436)

(Increase)/decrease in trade
and other receivables (102,255) 50,709 197,679
Increase/(decrease) in trade
and other payables 166,002 54,498 (79,210)
———————————————- ————— ————— —————-

CASH USED IN OPERATIONS (901,641) (824,806) (1,725,967)

Tax received 25,268 23,529 23,529
———————————————- ————— ————— —————-

NET CASH FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES (876,373) (801,277) (1,702,438)

CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES

Purchase of intangible fixed
assets (110,545) (103,327) (206,810)
Purchase of tangible fixed
assets (8,047) (37,232) (46,695)
Interest received 970 160 671
———————————————- ————— ————— —————-

NET CASH FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES (117,622) (140,399) (252,834)

CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES

Share issue (net of expenses) 5,441,269 – –
Repayment of finance lease (2,922) (487) (3,412)
———————————————- ————— ————— —————-
NET CASH FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES 5,438,347 (487) (3,412)

Increase/(decrease) in cash
and cash equivalents 4,444,352 (942,163) (1,958,684)
———————————————- ————— ————— —————-

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS AT
BEGINNING OF PERIOD 1,752,349 3,711,033 3,711,033

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS AT
END OF PERIOD 6,196,701 2,768,870 1,752,349
———————————————- ————— ————— —————-

NOTES TO THE UNAUDITED AND CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED INTERIM ACCOUNTS

FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 JUNE 2018

1. Basis of preparation and accounting policies
These interim statements have been prepared on a basis consistent with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). They do not contain all of the information required for full financial statements and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements of the Company as at and for the year ended 31 December 2017. These interim financial statements do not constitute statutory accounts within the meaning of the Companies Act.

The interim financial information has not been audited. The interim financial information was approved by the Board of Directors on 11th September 2017. The information for the year ended 31 December 2017 is extracted from the statutory financial statements for that year which have been reported on by the Group’s auditors and delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The audit report was unqualified and did not contain a statement under s498 (2) or 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006.

The accounting policies applied by the Company in these interim financial statements are the same as those applied by the Company in its financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2017. However, the interim financial statements are prepared in accordance with IFRS15, the new accounting standard for revenue recognition, which came into effect from 1(st) January 2018. No changes were needed to the amounts in the interim financial statements due to this new revenue accounting standard.

Von Johnson & Associates, Inc. chooses secured Blackbird for international localization

September 5, 2018, London & Los Angeles – Forbidden Technologies plc has announced that Von Johnson & Associates, Inc. (VJA) has selected and is partnering with the award-winning Blackbird cloud platform for localization production and secured delivery of video content for television, feature film and major international OTT platforms including Apple, Netflix and Amazon.

To read this press release, please click here. 

 

Successful completion of pilot with major North American media company

Forbidden Technologies plc (AIM: FBT) is pleased to announce that a pilot announced in July 2017 with a major North American broadcaster and sports rights holder has successfully completed.

During the period of the pilot Blackbird (formerly Forscene) provided producers and editors with a workflow and remote collaborative access to enable them to view and create clips prior to a final editing process.

The producers within the creative division of the Company will start using Blackbird Forte to view, edit and enrich the content of a major North American sports league.

Forbidden CEO, Ian McDonough says:

“We are excited to be taking this relationship to the next stage. I am delighted that the Blackbird pilot has been successful within the creative division. This is a small but crucial step to seeking wider adoption across the Company’s media infrastructure.”

Enquiries

Forbidden Technologies plc
Ian McDonough, CEO
Jonathan Lees, Finance Director
Tel: +44 (0)20 8879 7245

Allenby Capital Limited (Nominated Adviser and Broker)
Nick Naylor
John Depasquale
Nicholas Chambers
Tel: +44 (0)20 3328 5656

About Forbidden Technologies plc

Forbidden Technologies plc (AIM: FBT, www.forbidden.co.uk) floated in February 2000.

Forbidden develops, markets and licenses a powerful cloud video platform using our patented Blackbird technology. The technology underpins multiple applications which are used by rights holders, broadcasters, sports and news video specialists, eSports live events and content owners, post-production houses, other mass market digital video channels and corporations.

The Blackbird technology allows full visibility on multi-location digital content, improves time to market for live content such as video clips and highlights for social media distribution, and results in much more effective monetisation.

Blackbird(R) is a registered trademark of Forbidden Technologies plc.

Websites
www.forbidden.co.uk
www.blackbird.video