Vianet, the draught beer quality and data insight specialist, has reported revenues essentially flat for the year to 31 March, at £14.26m (2016: £14.29m).

Pre-tax profits post exceptional items was £1.45m, compared to £1.85m last year.

The business is divided into two divisions – Smart Zones, including its former Leisure business and Smart Machines, including its former Vending division.

Vianet said the former had remained resilient with new device connections driven by 380 new drinks monitoring system installations (2016: 455) and a new six-year contract extension signed with Greene King. Its adjusted operating profit grew 5.5% to £4.82m

The Smart Machines division added 5,092 new connected devices (2016: 5,284). Its adjusted operating profit was up 19.1% to £890,000.

Going into further detail on the Smart Zones division, the company said the combination of improved recurring revenues from long term contract extensions and ad-hoc support activity, combined with 278 iDraught sales, had resulted in a largely stable income stream for the period under review despite the continued headwinds of pub disposals.

There are currently 230,000 Smart Zone devices – which brings multiple data gathering devices together - in c 14,500 premises.

The company said: “Whilst we focus on strengthening our recurring income streams, pub companies are also adapting to the changing landscape through different strategies such as developing managed estates from high performing or strategically located properties and creating franchised models with increased operating performance potential and greater transparency. We expect these different strategies to be beneficial to our business as the pub companies seek to improve retailing capability and quality standards and will likely be targeting investment expenditure on that basis.

“Whilst the overall pub sector rate of pub disposals appears to be slowing and is reduced versus the prior year, (2017: 940 and 2016: 1,100) the resulting impact was a net reduction of 616 licenced premises in our installation base over the financial year with a consequential impact on operating contribution.”

James Dickson, chairman of Vianet, said: “Encouraging progress has been made across our business, which has benefitted from the focus on exploiting growth opportunities in both the Smart Machines and Smart Zones Divisions. With over 300 customers including several global blue chip companies and more than 250,000 devices connected to our Internet of Things platform, our experience and knowledge combine to form a powerful technology and insight capability. As the Internet of Things evolves and businesses increasingly seek more data and insight on everything from asset performance to process automation, we believe Vianet is well placed to grow its position in this rapidly developing area.

“The Group’s financial resources are underpinned by high levels of recurring income. This combined with our strong cash flow and balance sheet gives scope for investment in expansion and for selective acquisitions. The Board remains confident that Vianet’s long term strategy is the right one, and that, within the parameters of its control and influence, the Group is well positioned to deliver earnings growth and expand future strategic options.”