Axess is a international leading manufacturer of ticketing and access management systems. With our production facility in Austria and 20 sales and support subsidiaries we serve our customers all around the world. Our solutions are used by ski resorts, fair and convention centers, stadia and arenas, leisureparks, museums and sightseeing attractions and touristic transport. In these fields, we offer complete resort solutions, customer registration and customer loyalty programs with social media integration and also numerous standardized interfaces to third-party systems. Individually tailored solutions are developed for individual projects based on proven standard technologies.
We convince with innovative hardware and also the most modern software modules. Starting from our standard system, we offer tailor-made solutions for every area of application.
Individual solutions for ticketing and access management, software products to integrate own business areas and CRM systems for managing customer data.
21 offices in 17 countries. Headquarters and production in Austria . A total of about 300 people worldwide.
The production of Axess AG is located in the plant in Innsbruck (AUT), where the manufacturing operation for hardware, RFID cards and barcode cards is implemented.
sales, project management, service, technical support
Secure, customized and future-proof – for smart ticketing and access management solutions look no further than Axess. Complete solutions from a single supplier: When it comes to ticket sales, income distribution, personal data registration, access control checks and secure data management for public transport, sports, leisure and cultural venues – Axess is your full-service partner.
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internet bookings per year.
people pass Axess systems each year.
Our corporate values are based on real partnership with our clients, suppliers and other partners, and the individuality of our systems and products. Strong partnerships and unique products form the basis for our global success. Our activities are guided by the needs of our clients for whom we develop special, tailor-made solutions.
We strive at offering our clients the best technical and commercial solution for their specific requirements and those of their customers. We work hard at expanding our range of products and services. We constantly invest in new technology and promote innovative thinking among our staff. We thus offer our clients and partners added value and new opportunities for their own businesses, helping them to achieve their long-term goals.
A team of experienced specialists in the field of ticketing and access control team up with Management Trust Holding AG based in Vienna and set up Team Axess.
Its slogan of "Open Minded IT" aptly describes the approach of Team Axess. From day one, the company embraces modern, open IT systems as well as transparent and flat corporate structures. In record time, Team Axess launches the first 100% hands-free system and an Oracle database with single block storage.
The first AX400 system is well received by the market, as it offers greater comfort to guests, very low cost of ownership for ski resorts and accurate passenger data for common tariff public transport companies.
Soon afterwards, Team Axess presents another innovative product: its two-arm turnstile. Skiers can now carry their equipment through turnstiles without getting caught in the mechanism.
Renowned ski resorts opt for Axess solutions: Ski Arlberg, Christlum/Achenkirch (Austria), Les Portes du Soleil (France/Switzerland), Sestriere (Italy), Norefjell (Norway) and the mountain railway company of Grüsch-Danusa (Switzerland).
First systems for non ski-related facilities are installed, for instance at Hannover Zoo.
The Axess system for the Aosta valley ski region, which includes the resorts of Courmayeur, Pila, Gressoney, Gran Paradiso, Chamois und La Thuile/La Rosière, meets with wide acclaim.
With the patented AX400 dual-lane gate, two access lanes can be installed on the floor space normally required for a single turnstile. When required, the barriers can be switched over to serve as exits. Axess continues its diversification: Leipzig Zoo and Messe Basel, the largest trade fair venue in Switzerland, are among the first Axess clients outside the ski tourism sector, paving the way for the company's expansion into the leisure and trade fair business.
Axess launches the 15693 ISO chip card whose innovative and standardized RFID technology for reusable smart cards with ThermoReWrite sets new standards and which is immediately adopted by the ski resort business. This new chip card quickly replaces conventional magnetic stripe cards.
Compagnie des Alpes, the world's largest ski lift operator, opts for the Axess solutions for its resorts in La Plagne, Tignes, Les Arcs, Les Menuires, Le Grand Massif, Chamonix and many more. The popular upmarket ski resort of St. Moritz upgrades its facilities with Axess systems.
Axess launches the first online ticket shop for skiers (B2C) and hotels (B2B) visiting the Arlberg ski region. More than 200 hotels join.
Axess successfully expands into the Russian market. The company signs its largest contract to date with the Dolomiti Superski resort company in Italy. Equally important is the business agreement with Skistar, the largest Nordic ski resort operator. In cooperation with its clients, Axess launches an e-commerce project for ski resorts that covers everything from ski pass, ski rental and ski school to accommodation, so that all these products and services can be booked online. The latest generation of the AX500 system is being developed.
The home of the Red Bull Salzburg football team (formerly known as SV Austria Salzburg) is the first large sports stadium to be equipped with an Axess access system, making the venue ready for Euro 2008. The first installation of the Axess system in the public transport sector (Fløibanen in Bergen / Norway) is a great success.
With the assistance of Professor Schiavuta of the University of Padova, Dolomiti Superski, the world's largest ski interconnect covering the regions of Alto Adige, Trentino and Veneto outlines its ideas for a new ski pass system. Axess expands on these ideas and incorporates them in its latest project. Soon afterwards, the company is awarded the contract for the implementation of this innovative solution.
In only 12 months, Axess, which now employs 100 people, develops the AX500 Smart Gate series. Its main features are modular system elements, assemblies with identical form factors and interfaces, and a redesigned centralized database. Under the slogan of "Free hands-free", Axess launches the innovative ONE WAY smart card to serve as an all-round ticket. The data from all POSs and readers are now processed at an externally hosted data center. The communication infrastructure consists of a GPRS network with 1500 AX500 Smart Gates and 300 POS systems. The project is rolled out on time and without any hiccups. Every day, the passenger data of 450 ski lifts in the Dolomiti Superski region and all other sales to ski tourists are accurately recorded and processed.
The project wins the Cooperation Award of the Swiss Institute for Entrepreneurship & Small and Medium Size Enterprises SIFE.
The innovative technology of Axess gains new ground outside the ski tourism sector: In preparation of the FIFA World Cup Final 2006, stadiums in Germany are being upgraded. The Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, the RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne, the Grundig stadium in Nuremberg and the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig are equipped with Axess systems to manage access to the matches. Axess thus becomes one of the three main equipment suppliers for the World Cup 2006.
The US fitness chain Ballys purchases Axess turnstiles for around 400 of its gyms.
The "Faible" project marks the launch of the first RFID city card designed for public transport companies. In Klagenfurt, all public busses (65 in total) are equipped with RFID scanners. Axess cooperates with industry partners to provide the technology. At the same time, the Axess ticketing system is installed in the public baths of the city.
Axess successfully pursues its strategy as a public access specialist: For leisure and sports facilities, Axess develops a new multidirectional ticket scanner that can read any ticket media, irrespective of its shape and its position to the scanner.
This solution proves very popular, and Axess ticketing and access control systems are installed at the trade fair and conference centers of Luxexpo, Brussels Expo and Reed Messe Salzburg. At the same time, the public baths of the cities of Salzburg and Winterthur (Switzerland) as well as the stadium of Stade Rennais Football Club (France) and Snow World (Netherlands) are equipped with Axess systems.
Špindlerův Mlýn, the largest ski resort in the Czech Republic, opts for Axess systems.
Axess continues winning important contracts for the upgrading of trade fair and sports venues: Messe Zürich, Olma Messen St. Gall, Fiera di Vicenza and Brøndby Stadium in Denmark are equipped with Axess solutions.
In the ski resort sector, Axess helps establish one of the most successful marketing campaigns of the industry: Pool NPY brings together a number of ski resorts in the Pyrenees. With the "Club No Souci" card, skiers can mount any lift and the day ticket charge is deducted automatically from their bank account.
In advance of the UEFA European Championships 2008, the Wörthersee stadium in Klagenfurt, the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich, Stade de Genève and the EM arena in Salzburg are upgraded with state-of-the art access systems from Axess.
Axess develops its patented flap gate. This user-friendly alternative to conventional turnstiles wins over a number of ski resorts in the USA where customer service comes first.
Among them are the well-known resorts of Ski Alta in Utah and Squaw Valley in California, where the first Axess systems on the American continent are installed. In Russia, Roza Khutor opts for Axess in preparation for the Olympic Games in Sochi. For the Austrian ski resort of Montafon, Axess upgrades its ticketing system to include cruises and trips on Lake Constance.
In the Middle East, the Dubailand entertainment complex is fitted with Smart Axess terminals. Axess systems are installed on the Portuguese island of Madeira for the Funchal Ropeway.
Hamburg Messe is the first major trade fair venue in Germany to opt for Axess equipment and systems.
Messe München envisions upgrading its magnetic stripe access control system with a web-based ticket sales service. Within a few weeks, the specialists from Axess are able to convince the venue operators of the advantages of their solution and the contract is promptly awarded to the Axess team.
The 130 existing turnstiles are upgraded with electronic devices from Axess and equipped with new ticket scanners. Large numbers of visitors make use of the print@Home service and purchase their tickets online.
The conference centers of Turin and Modena in Italy, the El Salam stadium in Cairo, the Impuls Arena in Augsburg and the Rudolf Harbig stadium in Dresden become customers of Axess.
Three large ski resorts in New Zealand, namely Mt. Hutt, the Remarkables and Coronet Peak invite Axess to supply and fit new ticketing and access control equipment.
Axess continues to expand its operations and moves its offices to Anif with three times the floor space of the old premises.
During the twelve years following its establishment, Axess has installed more than 10,000 smart gates in more than 50 countries all over the globe. The AX500 product range is extended to include multi-functional ticket vending machine (TVMs).
The new ticket vending machine is an important feature of the "People Mover" in Venice that brings tourists from Tronchetto to Piazzale Roma. All tickets for the unmanned transit system are sold through TVMs, and access to the trains is controlled by smart gates.
Axess is awarded the contract of Messe Düsseldorf for integrated badge printers installed at the turnstiles. Visitors who arrive with their print@Home tickets can proceed through the turnstiles without having to check in at the entrance desks.
The ski resorts of Pamporovo (Bulgaria), Czimbulak (Kazakhstan) and Kouty (Czech Republic) become Axess customers. The Rewirpowerstadion in Bochum is refurbished with Axess systems.
The new AX500 NG is a truly innovative system. Axess begins the series production of a new powerful Linux-based controller. The completely redesigned housings of the new devices are made from profile aluminum resistant to corrosion and the modular Axess system is further expanded.
Schöneck is the first ski resort operating a parking facility to opt for the Axess full service. The new ski ticket system also provides access to the parking structure, so that parking and skiing are combined in a single system.
In the US, Mammoth Mountain resort orders more than 100 AX500 Smart Gates and 450 points of sale supplied by Axess. The Mont Saint-Sauveur resort in Canada installs its first Axess systems.
2011 is the year of the FIFA Women's World Cup. In preparation for the event, three football stadiums are equipped with the latest Axess solutions, namely the WWK Arena in Augsburg, Stadion Dresden and the Rewirpowerstadion in Bochum. The Axess system is also installed in the Red Bull Arena, in New Jersey.
The Axess Smart Flap Gate wins the Salzburger Wirtschaftspreis award for innovation. These smart gates enable tourists (skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers, etc.) to access cable cars and lifts without the risk of getting entangled, which is a common risk with conventional turnstiles.
Fifty percent of all sold smart gates are equipped with flaps rather than turnstiles.
The CLICS administration software is launched. Designed as a web tool, CLICS makes it easy to set up, configure and maintain all system functions, while the dashboard provides a user-friendly monitoring and visualization interface for sales and access data.
Axess enters the Chinese market by installing the first ski pass system in this country in the Secret Garden Resort Genting. The company is confident that China will become one of its growth markets. Among the latest trade fair venues to install systems developed by Axess are Bernexpo, Veronafiere, Rimini Fiera, Fiera Pordenone and Fiera Milano. A number of venues of the Olympic Games in Sochi, among them the biathlon center, and the stadiums of Cluj and Bucharest in Romania are also equipped with Axess systems.
The Axess team works hard to complete its latest major contract in Sochi, Russia, contributing to the success of the Winter Olympics 2014. For the Alpika service in Sochi itself, Axess provides a combined ski pass and parking ticket system with more than 40 pay points and ticket machines.
Axess goes even further afield with new clients in Japan. The Sugadaira Kogen and Pine Beak ski resorts are equipped with the first ski pass systems in Japan.
The largest Czech ski region of Špindlerův Mlýn upgrades its facilities with AX500 Smart Gates.
At the Interalpin, the largest trade fair for winter sports held in Innsbruck, Axess showcases its latest solutions for ticket and access management by providing the ticketing system including web shop for the industry event. The entrances to the venue are equipped with AX500 Smart Gates while the underground car park is upgraded with an integrated parking system. Around the same time, Axess systems are installed at the King Abdullah International Stadium in Saudi Arabia.
2014 is the most successful year for Axess to date. The company further expands its business in two emerging markets by establishing branch offices in Russia and Japan.
At the same time, the team tackles a number of large-scale projects in Europe. They include systems for Jungfraubahnen in Switzerland, the largest ski resort client of Axess to date. This solution is also the most extensive software project ever undertaken by the company. Upon completion of this two-year project, Jungfraubahnen will benefit from a new ski pass system including ticketing solutions for its many facilities and services.
In early summer, Axess begins with the implementation of its largest public transport project to date on behalf of ACTV in one of the most visited cities in Europe – Venice. All stops of the vaporetti, which provide the public transport system in the lagoon, are equipped with Axess gantry-type smart gates. Venice now operates the first passenger ferry system with automated access control, which even works when water levels are unusually high.
In August, the first Axess project in Latin America was completed. Central de Abasto or CEDA in Mexico City, which is the world's largest food wholesale market has contracted Axess to help manage access to its huge site extending over 328 hectares. New columns and barriers are being installed at the entrance and exit points to the CEDA, and all cash points are equipped with Axess POS terminals, printers and the necessary software.
Following the successful opening of a branch office in Japan, the two ski resorts of Washigatake and Rusutsu are equipped with Axess systems. Around the same time, Axess wins the contracts for the equipment of the Pine Flower/Lake Songhua resort in China.
The busiest trade fair venue in Austria known as Messe Wien is equipped with an Axess access control system.
With a turnover of 24 million Euro, 2014 is the most successful year for Axess so far.
The most flexible solutions for professional sale of tickets are available with products such as the Axess SMART PRINTER and the newly developed Axess PICK-UP BOX. The new product suite Axess CONNECT with Mobile Communication and Customer Relation Management modules enhances the loyalty and the engagement of guests and visitors for the vendor and the tourism region or the event locations. The new Axess RESORT Module also extended the opportunities for ski areas and destinations for the integration of all additional services that are directly connected with snow such as Ski Depot, ski rentals and ski instruction. E-commerce also ranked in the range of services that is available to all business areas.
Additional market share can be achieved in the DACH-Raum [Attic-room], especially with the delivery of the large Jungfrau railway project in Switzerland. An additional customer in Vorarlberg (A) was gained with the Brandnertal, and was integrated in a joint ski association with an existing customer. In addition to acquiring new customers, numerous expansion and renovation orders of ticketing systems in a DACH-Raum were able to be concluded.
Development was also gratifying in Italy, where sales once again exceeded expectations. The complete refurbishment with the latest Axcess system generation was a substantial influence for existing customers, Sestriere and Monte Baldo.
The strategy of internationalization was pursued further in Asia. Additional projects with new customers were concluded with Kiroro Ski Ressort, Teine and White Pia in Japan and with Taiwoo Group in China. Large potential growth in the future will occur in this region particularly due to holding the Olympic winter games in China in 2022.
The market share was also expanded in Scandinavia, France and Andorra. In Andorra, a larger order was completed in the Vallnord ski area and a more important customer was won over. In Scandinavia, new orders in the Orsa Grönklitt (Sweden) and Meråker Skisenter (Norway) were able to be concluded.
By means of a favorable rate of exchange in USD/EUR and in large part generous snow in the winter season, the North American market was also able to provide a spark and contribute to growth. Three new customers were acquired with Snowbird ski resort in the USA as well as Okemo and the former olympic venue of Winsport Calgary in Canada and the market position was improved.
In the CEE region, the Sinaia ski area refurbishment in Romania and the Kok Tobe (Almaty) in Kazahkstan were important acquired projects.
The fiscal year 2016 for Axess AG ended once again with record sales characterized by a strong new customer business.
Since then more than 11,000 Axess POS Systems and 18,000 Axess SMART GATES have been successfully installed in over 50 countries. In the future, new brands will be able to be addressed in the area of software products due to the current expansion of the portfolio. This development was beneficial in the skiing segment due to a very snowy winter in most areas that drove a significant increase in ticket sales. Record sales were realized with a pronounced increase in sales of 56.7% in Scandinavia and 48.4% in North America. Additional orders were received with Varingskollen Alpincenter as a new customer in Norway and with Grönklittsgruppen in Sweden. Two projects were put into service with the newly started TeamAxess Finland Oy branch in Finland along with Äärmusliku, the first project in Estonia. These new branches will now enable existing customers to be better supported and additional resources will be available for expansion.
The leading market position in the USA with new customer projects Mountain Creek, Smugglers' Notch and Wachusett Mountain will be expanded further. In the meantime, the ticket solution offered by Axess in this market will be almost completely implemented. This development will be supported by the completion of the first software module such as the Locker and also Rental Management. A larger growth of 29.7% took place in the CEE region. Along with the numerous existing customer account businesses, orders from new customers were able to be completed with Ostrava Vitkovice (Czech Republic), Hotel Cerkno (Slovenia) and Rosa Khutor on the Russian market. We were able to increase the sales figures as well in France last year. In addition to the existing core markets, Axess additionally continues to rigorously implement its international strategy. We equipped first ski areas in Erzurum and Sarikamis in Turkey and Valle Nevado, La Parva and Corralco in South America (Chile).
During the past business year, the new implementation of the Axcess PICK UP BOX and the continued development of the Axess CONTROLLER and Axess SCANNER were an emphasis on development in the area of hardware. In 2016, the area of software was characterized by continued development at the commenced Axess RESORT solution. At the same time, the first module is available to customers with the Axess RESORT.LOCKER. With the Axess RESORT.RENTAL, a complete set of ski equipment can be reserved and with Axess RESORT.SKISCHOOL, a qualified ski instructor can be booked. With the Axess CONNECT.APP, the skier receives all information and offers all over the ski area directly to his or her smartphone. Mobile Ticketing, individual extra features and social media integration complement the innovative CRM Tool by Axess.
The 2017 financial year again exceeded forecasts and closed with a 30% increase in sales over the previous year – a total of € 40 million. 250 employees now work across the globe for Axess AG, distributed in the HQ in Anif/Salzburg, the plant in Innsbruck as well as 15 branches worldwide. The plant in Innsbruck was extended by a hall and now works in 3-shift operation.
The software segment was marked by the completion of the Axess RESORT SOLUTIONS in 2017. With Axess RESORT.RENTAL, a module is available which allows complete ski equipment to be reserved. Intelligent business solutions such as the Axess BI DASHBOARD enable smart management of resorts and provide an overview and analyses in real time. The RESORT SOLUTIONS 4.0 product range was shown in full for the first time at the world's largest ski trade fair, the Interalpin in Innsbruck. International visitors were enthusiastic about the comprehensive solution for ski areas and resorts. However, development activities in the hardware area were also extremely successful in the past financial year: The market launch of the Axess CONTROLLER 600 and Axess SMART SCANNER 600. Dolomiti Superski, a customer from the beginning years, immediately switched to it and Paganella and Sappada in Italy could also be won over. New customers such as the Patscherkofelbahn, Rösshütte Seefeld and Semmering (A) or Pra Loup and Val d'Allos (F) as well as Marprom (SW) were acquired. In Scandinavia in particular, sales growth was achieved by the Geilo and Hafjell/Kvitfjell ski areas and in North America by Copper Mountain, Sugarbush, Gunstock Mountains and Mount Sunapee. China and Japan are showing enormous potential that has already been realised with projects such as Alts Bandai, Kandatsu-/Mineyama Kogen or Grenn Cloud Mountain and Beidahu Aoshan.
What’s more, the four other business divisions also recorded a huge expansion. Salzburg AG with its tourism companies, Messe Friedrichshafen (D), Stadium Partizan Belgrade (SB), Doha Festival (QAT) or Christchurch Adventure Park (NZ). At IAAPA Singapore the Axess solutions were presented in the theme park area. Here too, we had a positive response that will enable expansion in these very large market segments. With the order for accreditation and ticket management for the Austria House of the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Axess was once again able to show that it can implement event solutions professionally on a grand scale.
Axess AG was founded in Salzburg in 1998 and has produced constantly increasing revenues ever since. In February, the company announced that the past business year had generated a new record result of €42.2 million and revealed that growth in the international markets of North America and Asia had risen by 20%. Technological innovations such as the introduction of UHF transponder technology for ski areas and new software modules enabled numerous new projects to be launched worldwide.
The consistent global growth figures recorded by Axess AG are a ringing endorsement of the strategic line it has pursued and show just how successful this recipe has been. The company’s acquisition of a former sales and distribution partner led to the foundation of Axess Americas Inc., which has its Registered Office in Park City as well as maintaining other locations in Los Angeles and Boston. The subsequent recruitment of new staff has produced a very pleasing outcome on the US market, even in the first year of operations. The crucial growth drivers in this case have been further developments of Axess RESORT.SOLUTIONS and a newly devised access system based on UHF technology. Two prominent skiing regions were acquired in the form of Killington and Cypress Mountain. Axess has already equipped a total of 33 resorts in the US and Canada, and a further four in South America (in Chile and Argentina) can also be added to this list.
In China, the takeover of a long-standing partner firm and the establishment of Axess (Beijing) Technology Co., LTD (with offices in Beijing and Shanghai) have allowed the implementation of whole resort solutions in Luneng and Lishan and of the Common Ski-Pass Chongli. The last-named project is particularly important and prestigious given the fact that Chongli will be one of the venues for the 2022 Olympic Games. Japan has also seen the realization of a pioneering ski area on the island of Hokkaido in the shape of the Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, and our subsidiary in Tokyo is already managing 14 resorts.
Axess AG has delivered significant impetuses for growth, employment and success across all five business divisions by continuing with the ongoing development of innovative access systems, ticketing and services. The beacon projects over the past year have been as follows.
SKIING: Killington (US), Cypress Mountain (US), Jennerbahn (DE), Abetone (IT), Tomamu (JP), Corro Castor (AG), Narvik Fjellet (NO), Amirsoi (US)
STADIA: Fortuna Sittard (NL), Pristina (KO)
TOURISM: Ulriksbahnen (NO), Schafbergbahn (AT), Wolfgangseeschiffahrt (AT), Schloss Neuschwanstein (DE)
All of the above are examples of outstanding projects which represent a mere sample of all of the customers the company has been able to attract over the last 20 years – more than 1,500 in number. All these clients have continued to develop alongside Axess AG and are today users of state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions which permit enhanced guest and visitor management. Along the way, Axess AG has transformed itself from a hardware manufacturer into a solution provider which is able to offer the right software and optimization solutions for the job.
Along with paying close attention to its customers and technology, the company’s philosophy still places the main emphasis on human resources and effective staff training. Axess is also becoming an increasingly significant high-tech employer in Salzburg and Tyrol. The hardware and software used in the company’s products are developed at Head Office in Anif, where sales, financing and marketing operations are also based. This approach will continue unchanged over the coming years. All system components, including tickets, are produced at the company’s own manufacturing facility in Innsbruck. A total of 185 employees in our home country are committed to supplying quality that is “made in Austria” to the entire world. Axess employs 280 staff worldwide.
With 62 new customer projects, the past fiscal year was the most successful in the company's history. Sensational growth was achieved in the USA, Japan and Russia, but Europe's DACH region also grew significantly. Even Covid-19 cannot detract from this success, several major projects have already been completed for the new financial year in times of a pandemic.
The world of Axess is spinning fast. Always on the pulse of time and hand in hand with its customers, it succeeds in bringing innovations quickly to the market. “The success speaks for the strategy of the company", Oliver Suter, CSO and member of the board summarizes. The North American region, including the USA and Canada, was a disproportionately high growth market. In this market, the already high sales of 2018/19 were increased by more than 70%. As in the previous year, many new customers were acquired, such as the ski resorts of Deer Valley, Mount Rose, Mount Seymour, Whiteface, Gore Mountain, Sierra at Tahoe, or the Wisp and Wintergreen areas, which belong to the Pacific Group. Particularly pleasing was the new contract for the two ski areas Big Sky and Loon, which belong to the Boyne Group, one of the largest operators of ski areas in the world. This group mainly relies on UHF transponders in their resorts, which are now complemented by the newly developed UHF Gates and the corresponding UHF Smart Cards from Axess. In addition to the already very successfully placed resort software solution, the UHF access system, which has now been brought to commercial maturity, brings further future growth potential. In order to optimize the US stadia market, a separate subsidiary, Axess Americas Events Inc. was founded in 2019. A dedicated team has been working intensively on stadia and arenas in America since December. A new subsidiary was also founded in Kazakhstan, Australia and on the east coast of the USA. The Spanish and Andorra markets, formerly sales territory of the French subsidiary, were served for the first time in the past fiscal year by the newly established Axess Ibérica subsidiary in Zaragoza. As an initial success, a million-euro project in the ski sector was implemented here with the state transport company Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya.
Sales also increased in Asia, with encouraging developments in the two most important markets of Japan and China. In Japan, the year-on-year increase was the largest of all countries, at over 100%. As in North America, numerous new projects were realized, such as the Appi Kogen, Takasu Snow Park, Dynaland and Hirugano Kogen ski resorts. An important customer has also been won outside the ski business with the renowned Kyoto Museum. In China, an important cooperation agreement was concluded with the Bank of China in view of the 2022 Winter Olympics, and a first major project has already been implemented. The leading position in the leisure market was further expanded with the completion of the Auto Museum project in Shanghai.
The CEE region as well as Russia continued to develop positively despite significant increases in sales in the previous year and were able to raise the high sales of the previous year. In these markets, non-ski areas such as stadia and trade fairs also set positive accents. In Russia, Ekaterinburg Expo - one of the most important exhibition locations in Central Asia - was equipped with a visitor management system. In the business segment stadia, the National Stadium Bucharest in Romania was upgraded to the latest system status and thus made fit for the upcoming European Soccer Championship. Turkey also developed positively with the new ski projects Kartepe and Kartalkaya.
Growth was also achieved in France. As a result, the sales record of the previous year was increased. In addition to new customers in the ski segment such as Prat Peyrot, the leisure segment with swimming pools and museums was also further expanded. The aerospace museum Musée de L'Air et de L'Espace in Paris, for example, has opted for the Axess system.
The development in the DACH region was equally pleasing. Due to the high number of existing customers, modernizations were realized in numerous projects and the ticket business was further increased. In addition, other new customers such as Axamer Lizum have been added.
Product lines are constantly growing and adapting to customer requirements. The software and hardware development makes this possible; the own factory in Innsbruck produces top quality products “Made in Austria". “Having the development department inhouse is an essential factor in our success. This is the only way we can respond quickly to new market requirements and offer appropriate products in a timely manner", says Christian Windhager, CTO and member of the board of Axess AG about the secret of the company's success. Thus, sales increased continuously, each year could be recorded as a success over the previous one. The 2019/20 financial year is also a good example of this, with sales of € 50.17 million and a profit of more than 9%, it is the best year in the company's history. 18.9% increase in sales compared to the previous year and a high equity ratio as well as over 300 employees form a solid foundation for the future.
The fact that the company is standing on solid ground is also reflected in times of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite restrictions indirect customer support and acquisition, the project volume already exceeds the figures of the previous year! The company was able to convert all employees to remote work from home and production at the plant could be maintained. “We didn’t have to register a single employee for short-time work", remarks Oliver Suter proudly. “The plant in Innsbruck produces under the new safety regulations and thus guarantees customers the promised delivery dates. All other employees work productively from home. We were even able to win several important projects from our home office.”
Around 3 billion transactions were done via Axess systems, more than 28 million RFID smart cards, meaning admission tickets or ski tickets, were produced in 2019. Just as many access systems. Last year, 62 new customer projects were added, including ski resorts, stadia, exhibition centers, theme parks or excursion railways and tourist attractions. Axess AG is now represented worldwide by 20 subsidiaries, which serve a total of 53 countries. More than 300 employees meet the high expectations of international customers every day. “They will all guarantee that a gratifying growth will continue in future years. The prerequisites for this are absolutely given and strengthen the management of the company in its strategic orientation", Christian Windhager emphasizes in conclusion.
With € 52.1 million in overall sales, success kept climbing in the last financial year. Even Covid-19 wasn’t enough to spoil the company’s growth; several major projects were completed during the pandemic, and three business areas were further developed. Unavoidable digitization in many areas accelerated projects, and new technologies stimulated demand.
While a company can be proud of its success during a global economic crisis, we also need to look back at the mark this time has left on the world. By dynamically adjusting to the new market conditions, Axess was able to quickly gain momentum after the first lockdown. The urgency for digitization resulted in many projects in the leisure and trade fair sectors. Restrictions that limited numbers of visitors and required spectator checks called for new solutions. “The success of the past year is a testament to how adaptable the company is, as well as to having the right strategy in times of crisis,” explains Oliver Suter, Board Member and CSO of the company. “By staying on the cutting edge and working hand-in-hand with our customers, we were able to quickly bring innovations to the market.” This is confirmed by the company’s € 52.1 million in sales with an EBITDA of € 15.2 million.
This year saw growth in the stadium, theme park and trade fair sectors. The foundation of Axess Americas Events Inc., which targets stadiums and arenas in the United States, brought numerous new projects. Well-known stadiums such as the LAFC’s Bank of California Stadium, the Alamodome in San Antonio, the Anaheim Ducks’ Honda Center, the Seattle Seahawks’ Lumen Field, the Seattle Mariners’ T-Mobile Park, and world-famous Yankee Stadium were all completely re-equipped with Axess access systems. The AX500 Smart Post NG was specially equipped for the US market with NFC technology, given WIFI and a battery, and mounted on a mobile pallet. It can be used anywhere and placed flexibly, regardless of cabling or the power supply.
Developments in the European trade fair market include software products that allow visitor flow to be regulated. Online registration and online ticket sales are must-haves for the future. Axess’ USP here is the ability to control everything from a single data center. New developments can easily be integrated into an existing system. Numerous trade fair halls and exhibition centers took the lockdown as an opportunity to invest in and upgrade their venues with new technology. The third major area of growth was the leisure industry. Theme parks, museums, zoos and other entertainment facilities needed systems that could regulate the number of visitors, whether in the park itself or to an individual attraction. Digitization has also made a major contribution to growth here.
The North America region, including the USA and Canada, was busy implementing projects won the previous year, and was also able to secure new projects. Mount St. Louis Moonstone, Calabogie Peaks Resort, Hilltop, Saddleback and Sugar Bowl ski areas now use Axess systems. The same goes for the Sunday River and Sugarloaf resorts of the Boyne Group, one of the largest ski resort operators in the world. In addition to the successful resort software solutions, the UHF access system has now reached commercial maturity and brings additional growth potential.
The German-speaking DACH area (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) increased the previous year’s already high sales by 5.1%. Austria was especially noteworthy, with an increase of 41.8% on the previous year. In addition to serving the existing customer base, many new small and mid-sized projects were completed. A pilot phase with Bluetooth low energy access, which converts smartphones into tickets, has started in twelve well-known ski areas. Projects in the non-ski sector include the Messe Dornbirn trade fair center, the “Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen”, the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, the Bayerische Seenschifffahrt and the Eisriesenwelt Werfen. Modules developed for ski customers, such as bookings or food and beverages, have also been successfully put into use in other areas of the leisure sector.
The new subsidiaries in Australia and Spain lived up to expectations and will make a strong contribution to growth in the coming financial year. Spain has already doubled sales with its second major project, Telesquis De La Tossa De Alp. Japan and China saw no growth due to the difficult situation during the pandemic, with severe supply conditions and cautious investment dominating these markets. France also saw sharp decline. This was caused partly by local elections, the reason why no major new orders were awarded in 2020, and also because the fall in ticket sales was much more significant than in other regions due to the complete closure of French ski areas as a result of the pandemic. Nevertheless, new customers, for example the Chamrousse ski area, were also acquired.
Sales in the CEE region increased by 7.3% compared to the previous year, with Serbia and Kazakhstan showing the strongest growth. Serbia’s largest ski resort, Kopaonik, was set up with Axess equipment, as was the world’s longest gondola – the Gold Gondola in the Tornik ski resort. In Kazakhstan, the Oi Quaragai ski resort was acquired through the company’s Russian subsidiary. The Czech Republic also saw high sales and acquired new ski customer Kralicak.
“Investment in research and development was at a record high at 12% of sales, or an increase of € 970,000 compared to the previous year. In the past year, we expanded our portfolio of products to include further digital solutions, and tested technologies for the future,” explains Christian Windhager, Board Member and CTO of the company. To advance further developments even more intensively, Daniel Wakounig has strengthened the team, joining as Head of Software and Hardware Development and authorized signatory from April 2020. His expertise in e-commerce will lead to many new products and solutions for the future. Lars Wolf, long-time CFO of the company, was promoted to Board Member in 2021. He will keep the company focused on its path of success.
The company is on solid ground – a fact that has been proven during the Covid-19 pandemic. With a healthy dose of respect, Axess is looking ahead to the new year. Despite growth and ongoing digitization, it is not yet clear when business will return to normal.