Firstwave escapes the worst of last year's COVID-19 disruptions

Firstwave escapes the worst of last year's COVID-19 disruptions

Losses after tax fall 2.8 per cent $6.4 million for half year 2021

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Firstwave Technology has started seeing improvements to its ongoing losses as it tells shareholders its operations saw little impact from the coronavirus pandemic during the last half year. 

The publicly listed cloud security company saw its losses after tax fall 2.8 per cent $6.4 million despite ongoing investment in its security platforms for the period ended 30 December 2020. 

Firstwave claimed it was able to seamlessly switch to a new working from home environment at the start of the pandemic and already relied on video conferencing, meaning overall operations remained stable.  

However, revenue fell by 2.1 per cent to $4 million as markets such as the United Kingdom and Europe felt a harder brunt of the pandemic’s effects. 

In particular, Firstwave noted that, in the UK, partners’ sales teams were furloughed resulting in business being slowed and, in some cases, stopped. 

To counteract the slowed activity in Europe, the sales team shifted their attention to other regions such as North Africa where business activity is less impacted by COVID-19 and new business is still being won, Firstwave claimed.  

The bulk of revenue came from platform licensing and support revenue, which formed $3.7 million. Professional services revenue however fell year-on-year by 30 per cent to $302, 132.  

The company claimed it had deployed 13 cloud security platforms as of 31 December 2020 up from 11 at the start of the six-month period and has deployed an on-premises platform in the Middle East.   

The business now has traffic flowing on platforms on five continents and has expanded the product portfolio by adding a new Web Protect DNS product that delivered first revenues in December 2020, Firstwave added. 

The results come as Firstwave signs a three-year contract with Moja Access, a pan-African operator of wholesale and open-access fibre and WiFi infrastructure in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Liberia.

As part of the deal, the company launched its FirstClou WebProtect DNS platform for each of Moja's parent company CSquare's four territories. 

Firstwave’s period of loss carries on from the end of the 2020 financial year when it made a loss of $13.8 million, representing a decline of 25.2 per cent, year-on-year. 

If financial year 2021 maintains this loss, this would be the Firstwave’s fifth loss-making financial year in a row since FY17. 

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