Expansys posts year-end results, hints at closing USA retail business

The PhoneDog
Mascot from Charleston, SC
Published: August 7, 2013

Expansys USA online retail store

When it comes time to buy a new mobile phone, most U.S. consumers simply stop by a carrier or retailer store, pick out a device and sign another agreement in exchange for a subsidized price. Some folks prefer to go the unlocked route, though, buying new phones whenever they choose and paying full price for them. There are currently a handful of different ways for those unlocked phone buyers to get new hardware, but that list of options may soon shrink by one. 

Expansys recently issued its fiscal year 2013 financial results, and sprinkled throughout the report are hints that the company may be planning to shut the doors on its Expansys USA retail business. For example, the full report begins with a statement from chairman Bob Wigley admitting that the past year has been "difficult" on the Expansys group, including a retail division that "faced strong headwinds" and "performed poorly" compared to expectations. As a result, Wigley says that Expansys management has been working to cut costs in that department.

Wigley goes on to say that Data Select Network Solutions (DSNS), Expansys's SIM distribution arm, outperformed the firm's expectations for the year. The year included an expansion of the DSNS business to the U.S., which Wigley highlights as a "positive development" in a year that was otherwise disappointing.

Expansys CEO Anthony Catterson touches specifically on the U.S. arm of the firm, saying that Expansys USA's retail business had a down year that saw both the revenues of both its online and B2B businesses drop compared to the previous year. Catterson attributes this reduction to a weaker market, pressure from competitors and a desire to focus on building Expansys's SIM business, which he says "grew strongly" in both revenues and profitability. Finally, Catterson says that Expansys is very happy with the progress that its SIM business has made in the U.S. and that the company is confident that the division will continue to grow and become more important to carriers and MVNOs.

Looking ahead, chairman Bob Wigley says that Expansys will work to cut costs wherever it can in fiscal year 2014 in order to become more efficient. Wigley also mentions that a "refocused strategy" will help to make Expansys more robust in the medium term.

CEO Anthony Catterson says that Expansys plans to continue the strategic review that it began in March 2013 as an effort to become an end-to-end solutions provider for operators, MVNOs and manufacturers. The exec says that progress on the review has already been made and that it's currently examining "a number of options" that are available as part of its evolution. Catterson also anticipates that Expansys will face short-term difficulties in FY14, but that a focus on its international SIM distribution business and software solutions for carriers will help it to find longer-term growth.