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.