Vianet has said its strategy of increasing its focus on coffee and vending machines is showing rewards, as profits and revenue grew in the year to 31 March.

However, in the group’s legacy business of drinks monitoring and services for the leisure sector operating profit dipped 6% as the number of pub disposals rose to 1,420 compared to 940 in 2017. As a result, Vianet saw a reduction of 1,175 licenced premises in its installation base.

In the Smart Machines division, the group saw divisional profit growth of 20.1% to £1.07m in the year helped by a small contribution of £0.12 million from the acquisition of Vendman Systems Ltd.

Overall, the group record revenue up from £14.26m to £14.56m with pre-tax profits 41.5% to £2.05 million post exceptional items.

Chairman James Dickson said: “”Vianet has made significant steps towards the delivery of its earnings transformation plan and continues to benefit from its focus on exploiting growth opportunities in the Smart Machines division whilst optimising performance in the Smart Zones division. The Group has a proven track record of converting data from its IOT connected devices into actionable information and solutions for b2b markets. We continue to develop and grow our working relationships with our blue-chip customer base where contracted recurring revenues now represent over 90% of turnover.

“The acquisition of Vendman with c. 200,000 mobile connections and roll out of the recently won global coffee contract, is expected to be transformational for the Smart Machines division and should drive significantly increased earnings for the Group in the next few years.

“The Group has high levels of recurring income, strong cash flow and a healthy balance sheet, which means we are well placed for further investment to accelerate Smart Machines expansion and for selective acquisitions.

“The Board is confident that the Group’s long term strategy is the right one and that it is positioned to deliver earnings growth and expand future strategic options.”