Jade writes down Joob Mobile, pursues ports software business

Having successfully spun out and listed its Wynyard forensics software business last year, Christchurch-based Jade Software aims to be number one in mixed cargo port operations software.

Jade Software reported 14% growth for the year ended 31 December 2013, with revenue of NZ$26.5 million up from NZ$23.2 million.

Those results exclude the Wynyard Group forensics software business that was successfully spun out and listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange last year.

They also include a write-down of Joob Mobile, a mobile middleware system Jade has developed over the last few years, to zero.

David Lindsay

The loss of Wynyard delivered Jade $34 million and a much stronger balance sheet and even allowed a return to shareholders via a NZ$15 million share buyback.

Left within the Jade umbrella are its "digital" and enterprise business of services and integration which are being merged into a single business unit, Jade Business Solutions.

Also remaining is Jade Master Terminal, a ports software business that is growing 26% year over year and appears to be a major focus for the company.

Jade's managing director, David Lindsay, said 2014 will see Master Terminal evolve into a new logistics company with additional product offerings to capture higher levels of growth.

"Our vision to be the number one supplier of Terminal Operating Systems to the world’s mixed cargo ports gained momentum in 2013 with three new installations going live in the USA and another new opportunity secured," Lindsay said.

"In Africa we won our first two ports as we execute on our EMEA expansion strategy. This sales growth was supported by new staff in Dubai and the USA as well as an expansion to the Jacksonville offices.

Meanwhile, Jade's accounts show an impairment loss of NZ$720,000 relating to Joob Mobile, a middleware solution for developers including security and enabling access to core business systems from any mobile operating system. 

A note to the accounts says the loss arose due to the "recent history of operating losses and net cash
outflows incurred by this [unit]".

"The recoverable amount of the [unit] has been assessed as nil, its value in use, based on the estimated future cash flows expected to be derived ..."

Lindsay told ZDNet Joob is still being used internally for clients but not marketed externally. Internal tools are not generally capitalised in the accounts he said, hence the write-down.

Joob was reportedly developed with assistance from Ministry of Science and Innovation and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

At launch, it was hailed by then Economic Development Minister David Carter as a "shining example" of innovation in the New Zealand technology sector.

Along with increased revenues, Jade reported increased costs, up to NZ$25.8 million, from NZ$18.7 million in 2012. Lindsay said the company is continuing to invest heavily in research and development, market  development and capability.

"The structural changes arising from the Wynyard separation also imposed significant additional cost on the business in 2013," he said.