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Edited Transcript of NEXT.OL earnings conference call or presentation 26-Feb-20 7:30am GMT

Q4 2019 Next Biometrics Group ASA Earnings Call

OSLO Mar 20, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Next Biometrics Group ASA earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 7:30:00am GMT

TEXT version of Transcript


Corporate Participants


* Eirik Underthun

NEXT Biometrics Group ASA - Interim CFO

* Peter Heuman

NEXT Biometrics Group ASA - CEO


Conference Call Participants


* Christoffer Wang Bjørnsen

DNB Markets, Research Division - Analyst




Operator [1]


Good day, and welcome to the NEXT Biometrics Q4 Results Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Peter Heuman. Please go ahead, sir.


Peter Heuman, NEXT Biometrics Group ASA - CEO [2]


Right. Thank you, and welcome, everyone. So good morning. This is Peter Heuman, the CEO, and I wish you all the best and a good morning and thank you for joining this conference call. It's related to the NEXT Biometrics year-end result and the quarter 4 report.

Attending today is me, Peter Heuman, CEO; and the -- our acting CFO, Eirik Underthun. Today, we will guide you through the quarter 4 presentation, and we have approximately 10 slides. If you don't have them in front of you, I think you can easily find them on our NEXT Biometrics website and you'll find it under Investor Relations and then Presentations.

You are also, during the call, more than welcome to ask questions to us. You can do that either here together with our operator or you can feel free to e-mail questions already -- or during the call to -- directly to peter.heuman, H-E-U-M-A-N, @nextbiometrics.com. We will then, after our presentation, have a Q&A session, and we appreciate all the questions that we could get. And thank you to those of you who have already, before the meeting, sent a few questions.

We believe our presentation will take approximately 25, 30 minutes. And we have structured the presentation in a way that we will first just go through some highlights from the quarter 4 results. We will when -- then make a link back to what I, as a fairly new CEO, communicated during the quarter 3 presentation related to what I think has been announced as a 100-day program that I started at the first day of my job. After that, Eirik will run through the quarter 4 and the year-end numbers. And at the end, due to the results and the situation we are in here and the numbers that we are presenting to you, we are going to try to provide you with some more guidance related to what will happen during quarter 1 and quarter 2, now in 2020.

But then I think it's time to start. And I will do that by saying that, unfortunately, I have to once again say that we are of course not, as a company, satisfied with the quarter 4 numbers. I do believe that we have communicated and warned a little bit earlier during the quarter -- or during quarter 3 that we might end up in this -- that the company was going in this direction. You will, based on that, also see it when we run through this presentation that we have taken some serious action during quarter 4. And when I say serious action, I mean both from a cost perspective as well as way of how we operate trying to get a better commercial traction. I think the company is in need of a serious turnaround and where the most important task is to demonstrate our capability to actually commercialize some of the great products that we have. And I think that links to what I said during the quarter 3 presentation. Having that said, I think we get into the presentation, and we jump to the next slide, which is called highlights.

So when we look at the numbers, as you can see, if we start with the yearly numbers, the company is a little bit down. We are down to NOK 84.4 million, that's down 22%. I think most of you are very aware of why we're ending up there. On a yearly basis, I am not too concerned when you have been so depending on a single-source revenue customer. Of course, that will hit you. I think what is -- what has been worrying for me when I started was to see that we were not mitigating this in a good way enough, in a structured way enough to make sure that we didn't end up here. So I think the more concerning number is the quarter 4 revenue number, which is, even for NEXT, very, very low, and then of course, quarter-to-quarter down. But on a yearly basis, we're down 22% the last quarter, and that's also what we are saying here later on. I dare to say that this should be the low peak in the revenue numbers looking ahead.

That's why we are already here, wanted to give you some kind of hope at least that our revenue to date 2020 is already higher than the revenues that we reported here in quarter 4. So I dare to say that I do believe that we are at the low point in terms of revenue in this quarter 4. And the main reason is, one, of course, that single-source customer has left, but I think more importantly, that we, as a company, have not mitigated that loss in a strong enough way. And then that's how we end up here.

The gross margin is around 0 or even negative in the quarter, and Eirik will explain a little bit more about this. I wouldn't be concerned about that going forward, but yes, Eirik will outline a little bit more of the details there of the product mixes and, of course, the very low revenue number that puts us in this temporary situation.

The EBITDA, minus NOK 49 million. Here, Eirik will later also explain a little bit why we are maybe even a little bit lower in EBITDA this quarter. Part of that has to all the actions that we have taken into quarter 4, and you are going to get more details about that during our presentation.

Therefore, we have also pulled some cash out of the cash pool during this quarter. So we are ending up just below NOK 90 million. We will -- you will also get more details on exactly where we are there and how we see it from this going forward.

From a -- so you are aware, we have a few points here on this slide as well. And I wanted to mention a few things. So as you have -- and as we have also made public, not only -- but we have implemented a fairly aggressive cost-reduction program when it comes to both indirect costs and headcounts and basically trying to make the company run in a much more efficient way, taking consideration that we might be in the temporary revenue downside.

We have succeeded in getting our large-size FAP20 sensor that we believe a lot in, granted PIV certification by the FBI. We think this is positioning NEXT Biometrics, and with the large-size secure sensor, in a very positive way. And we're going to come back to that as well.

And then I have, as a CEO, completed the 100-day program that we talked about. And I will now turn over to actually run through and put that into context of what we have been doing here during quarter 4 to actually turn this a little bit, as I say, hopefully, temporary and that trend --negative trend of revenue in the second part of 2019.

And I will now ask us to go to Slide #4. That slide starts with the header 100 Day program completed - Analysis shows. So to put this a little bit into context, to complete the 100-day program, what I did was to make sure that I analyzed a lot of internal data, listened to my staff, et cetera. So I basically took a lot of both internal, but maybe more importantly, a lot of external input. If that is market data, I met with customers, I met with prospects, I met even with customers where -- which have chosen to go with another supplier in procurement processes to understand why. And I also discussed with shareholders and analysts, et cetera, to understand their view on our company. The conclusions I draw fairly quickly on my initial analysis, I think, have been confirmed, and I have here been trying to write down, both some of the strengths that I see in the company as well as some true areas of improvement to make sure that we turn this ship around and maybe a few realities that I, at least, need to play kind of the field we are playing with. That, for example, makes it difficult for me to step in and turn the revenue into the direct next coming quarter fairly difficult, but that should not be a sign that I don't believe that we can turn it around using and playing in the kind of industry we are playing.

So if you look on a high level on some of the strengths that I identified, I would say, the core hardware skills from architecture to productification are very good. We have an IP, a fairly broad IP, that reaches a broad market with our thermal technology. We have a proven execution scale of delivering to multiple Tier 1 customers, which I think is also very stable and good proof point for the company. And we now have a compelling road map when we talk about -- and this, I think, is great for the NEXT Biometrics technology as well as the history. There is a good reason to go for the larger-sized sensors with a great form factor and a cost advantage. And we have managed to make these products available just now, at the end of the year, available for the market. We have managed to get them certified by some strong government-related bodies like the FBI with the PIV certification.

So if these are the good things, then what are the areas that I believe that -- and were the most important conclusion that we, as NEXT, need to improve? I think we -- one major thing that we have worked on here is to improve how we allocate our resource and capital and how we balance that between short, mid and long-term company potential. At this stage, you can understand that I have pooled quite aggressively our resources into what we would call short and midterm. So here, we have a new model of how we can and how I, as a CEO, can guide the resources and allocate them or external money in the right way that we get the most value towards our shareholders and depending on the situation we are in.

We have done a lot of changes when it comes to how we work with sales. This in line with the resourcing and capital allocation has been a way, but we have done changes in how we run sales, sales management. We have certain competencies that we have added. We have competencies that we have removed. And we have set up a much more clear and targeted way of how we work and with what customers we work where we have potential. We have also started to see and implemented activities for how we, as a company, can be much more customer-centric. I will come back to that later.

We have optimized our organization and cost efficiency. I would say we have done quite a lot of activities here during quarter 4, and you will hear more about that in the numbers. And I think one other area of improvement is that we have to secure that we, as a company, delivers on our promises, whether it's to our shareholders, but also to our employees, customers and partners that we are working with. And I think here we have improvement that the company can do in general.

The market realities. I don't want you to take this as an excuse for why we can't turn the revenue numbers around very quickly, but it is a reality that it's relatively long sales cycles when you work in this hardware installation industry with both software kind of integration as well as mechanical integrations and production cycles. And if you don't have a strong funnel enough when you really start to do the great activities, which I today believe we are doing, then you start from a very low level and it's going to take a little bit of time to reasonably get to good levels. But as I said, a lot of activity has been going on here.

So strength, we have some, absolutely. Do we have improvement areas? I think that's very obvious. And do we have some realities to live in? Yes, we do. And I think we're trying to tackle them fairly good.

Then we should go to the next slide that's called -- with the heading Key 4 (sic) [Key Q4] actions taken based on the 100 days program analysis. So here is the slide where I briefly will tell you to what have we been doing during quarter 4. And as you can probably see, if you follow us during quarter 3, we have put them into the 3 most important areas of -- that came out of my analysis.

So the first one is tangible growth agenda. We have updated our sales organization with new management, new competencies and a new way of working, steering sales organization in the new KPI-based kind of way. And I think this is probably what we could have potentially done a little bit earlier, then that would have helped, but I start to see some good signs coming out of how we are running our sales activities nowadays. And with that, we have a much more robust sales pipeline. And I believe that even though the funnel as such might be a little bit smaller, but it's much more robust and we are in real-time dialogues with potential customers.

We have improved conversion and lead times of -- to commercial contracts. We are also doing smaller orders. And I think nowadays, compared to when I started, I see that we are doing more of these smaller orders that are good kind of running underneath what we might make public in larger orders. So in that way, I think, in general, we keep a higher pace and a better activity when it comes to sales. I think some proof points for that is what you saw in January. It might not be -- the numbers are not hit positively by this in quarter 4, but I believe that all the activities that we have initiated quarter 4 and all the changes we have implemented have made it possible for us to make a major deal for the company and even in the market because if you ship that number of readers that we did here in January, you are a big player in India. I even hear that -- from our competitors that we are starting to be a threat to them, which I think is very good. So I'm happy with that. And as you recently saw, we have also made now our first commercial purchase order of the FAP20 certified sensor.

When it comes to being more customer-centric, yes, as you have heard me say it several times, complete the certification of FAP20, which we talked a lot about. I think this is one of the key products for NEXT as a company. And we have established -- this is maybe a little bit internal, but we have, by CEO-governed, so-called task forces, which basically cooks down to where we have important dialogues with partners or customers that could potentially create value for us and where we're also depending on the internal organization and technology, then we bring this into task forces to bring the whole company, so to speak, to work tighter and closer with those projects and with those customers. So I think you'll start to see the first positive signs here, how we, as a company, are becoming better at listening to the customer demand.

Resource and capital allocation. Here, we have, during quarter 4, executed a cost reduction program relating to both, as I said, headcount and indirect cost. Should lead to an annual OpEx saving by minimum NOK 45 million. Eirik will talk more about this, but it's -- I think we have done, at least as a phase 1 here, and we realized fairly quickly that we should try to do this during quarter 4 so we can start to run 2020 a little bit better off from a cost perspective. We have also implemented a lot of changes in the executive management of the company. And I think, like I said before, we have started to allocate resources and a little bit of capital in a better way versus -- in the way of looking from a short, mid and long-term growth potential.

An example can be here. We have -- if you look at -- I'm not going to say too much and too strong words in what we believe in smart card. There are probably great possibilities there. It's probably more a question of when those opportunities will start to realize. And in the situation we are, I cannot have too many people working on that. If I have a near-term possibility to drive value, which we have with our FAP20 -- and that's an example where I'm not saying which is more important for the other. It's more a timing and allocation that I think how we, as a company, do this can help us create value, both in short, mid and long term. And that's a change that we have implemented during quarter 4.

I hope this provides you a little bit of insight in both what the analysis showed and also what we have done in terms of actions. Of course, some of these actions have resulted in that we have an increased cost base in quarter 4. And I will hand over to Eirik now to try to put all these changes and activities into the numbers perspective.

So with that, thank you very much, and I hand over to Eirik.


Eirik Underthun, NEXT Biometrics Group ASA - Interim CFO [3]


Thank you. So this is Eirik Underthun. I'm the acting CFO of NEXT Biometrics.

We're now at Slide 6, key figures. And as you can see, the Q4 revenue was NOK 9.2 million. This is down from NOK 29.3 million in quarter 4 2018. The revenue decline has been already explained, but it's relating to the reduced notebook volumes to our U.S. Tier 1 customer that was not sufficiently offset by increased revenue from other customers. And Q4 is expected to be the low point in terms of revenue per quarter.

When it comes to gross margin, our gross margin in quarter 4 was minus 2% versus 36% in quarter 4 2018. And the margin was impacted by reduced production and sales volume, timing effects and the product mix that we had in the quarter.

Then we turn to Slide 7, optimizing organization and cost base. And if you look at the graph on the left side, you can see the development in operating expenditures per quarter in this graph. The OpEx was NOK 44 million for quarter 4 2019. That is excluding the nonrecurring expense of NOK 4.7 million. And this OpEx consists of R&D, other personnel costs and other indirect costs. The OpEx in the quarter was affected by the weak Norwegian kroner as the majority of our costs and employees are based outside Norway. And also, as Peter mentioned, we have executed the cost reduction program in quarter 4, and this is continuing into quarter 1. And this program consists of both cost optimization in terms of reducing the number of personnel in the organization and also working on indirect costs. This program has been executed and entailed more than a 20% reduction in full-time equivalents to less than 65 as well as indirect cost reduction. And this will gradually feed into the coming quarters as we go. The nonrecurring costs in quarter 4 was NOK 4.7 million, as we mentioned. And we are expecting an annual cost saving from this program of minimum NOK 45 million compared to the 2019 OpEx of NOK 173 million. And you can see the approximate target in the red bar in the graph. And the cost program will not affect near-term revenue generation or critical development activities.

Then we turn to Slide 8, EBITDA and cash flow performance. The EBITDA for quarter 4 was a adjusted EBITDA loss of NOK 49.3 million versus NOK 35 million in quarter 4 2018. The Q4 2019 EBITDA reflects lower revenue, negative gross margin, nonrecurring cost of NOK 4.7 million and no SkatteFUNN recognition in 2019. So if you look at the comparison between quarter 4 2018 and quarter 4 2019, you will see that the main difference is gross margin, NOK 10.7 million, and then we have the nonrecurring items of NOK 4.7 million in quarter 4 2019. And then we have no SkatteFUNN recognition in 2019 while we had that recognition in 2018. This doesn't mean we will not get it, but it's more a question of what we can book in our books at this point. This is a topic that is in development and there's still no clarifications to be heard from the government on this.

When it comes to the cash flow, there was negative cash flow in the quarter, and the cash used for operations was NOK 38.6 million in quarter 4 2019. And if you adjust for the nonrecurring items, it's NOK 34 million. Our cash position was NOK 88.5 million at 31 December 2019.

Then I will turn the slide back to Peter.


Peter Heuman, NEXT Biometrics Group ASA - CEO [4]


Yes. Thank you, Eirik. Yes, we have 2 slides left. And on this slide, which now has the header, Targeting existing growth markets, I'm just briefly going to touch upon the different market segments and provide a little bit of view and insight for you of what the activity -- what activities have been going on during quarter 4 and to confirm that we are relevant in those areas going forward.

And so for Access Control where I think you saw in the late part of quarter 3, but I think -- yes, I mean, we are shipping where we made an announcement of a $100,000 sensor module within the Access Control space in Europe, and we are and have been shipping towards this customer and that contract into quarter 4 and also into 2020. We have also had activities going on, of course, in our technology department, which you have understood, of course, with making our FAP20 certified and market -- ready for market, but we have also launched a new module improved for harsh weather conditions that was also done during quarter 4.

If you look at notebook, as we all know, one major Tier 1 has maybe left, but we have a good, stable relationship with another. And we are also having good dialogues with both existing and potential new notebook suppliers. And we have interesting dialogues there related to our newly launched FAP20.

When it comes to government ID, I see we have Aadhaar logo here, but I would say that you can actually consider us being active in a much broader space than just India when it comes to government ID. We have a lot of activities going on, and it's particularly related to FAP20 and a lot of POS, the point of sales terminal. We see a lot of activity. For example, in Asia there, where many manufacturers of POS terminals are placed, but they have a global market focus. And there, we have good dialogues. We have a good product and solution that seems to be a good fit for the market and where we can compete quite aggressively, both towards our competing technologies, which can be capacitive sensors or optical sensors. And this is also where you have seen that we have made some major in-steps into the important markets and highly skilled biometric market and focused market from a government perspective, and that is, of course, India.

When it comes to smart card, I think there are a few things that we should say. First of all, we still have it as a targeted market. We have done some great technology developments, and we are having full readiness and we have made demonstrations of a dual interface card solution, so a card with a biometric contactless solution. That said, I want to be fair when we look at this segment. I think it's a matter of the broad, let's say it like this, the broader smart card segment I find very interesting and as a very opportunistic thing and long-term potential for NEXT. And in particular actually, the broader smart card, and when I say broader smart card, I mean more or less all potential smart cards outside of the payment card ecosystem. I think the payment card ecosystem, which there's been a lot of thoughts about, but with the different parties involved that I've been talking to since I started in NEXT and with my history from the payment industry, I think it's -- I should not argue anything about whether it will happen, but I feel fairly confident that it's going to take quite some time before we see any large deployed volumes globally. And then we need to consider how we allocate our resources, et cetera. I think the takeaway should be we are following this. If we see demand picking up in smart card, what I think our shareholders should know is that we are ready. We can partner up with people, but we will mainly only do that and follow this closely if we see large volume potential and when that actually really materializes.

I think with that, we can go to the next slide. And due to that even though our yearly numbers, so the 2019 revenue numbers, for example, if we, as a company, are going down 20% or up 20%, but -- where we, this year, have been hit by a large single-source customer that we have historically been too depending on. And I shouldn't say blame that. It's actually our -- it's our responsibility to mitigate that, but we have not managed to do that, so we are 20% down. That would be okay from a general perspective. But I think when you look at the combination of us going down and then see the big difference in quarter 4, I think it tells me that we should try to guide you a little bit about what's going on in the company.

So if we try to do this as an outlook for quarter 1 and quarter 2, what we want to provide to you in a little bit of guiding would be that quarter 4 2019 should be the low point in terms of quarterly revenue. I dare to say that because I already see that the revenues to date in 2020 is already higher than the revenues that we are reporting today in the quarter 4 2019. I think that is due to the strengthening and improved sales organization that we worked so hard with during quarter 4. And I start to see the first signs of that bearing some fruit. And at least I want to guide you in this kind of way. We have, like I said, announced a major order in India. We have launched and made public our first commercial purchase order of the FAP20 where we put a lot of hope in going forward and a sensor which is positioned to potentially then help us get back into growing revenues, but also have the potential to do that with very decent margin.

And more also, due to the customer-centricity that I said is something we need to improve, you can feel assured that we are continuing with what we have defined internally as we have a number of dedicated task forces where we join up around important potential customers and partners that can make a difference for the company. And we're also working on improving and happening more -- and establish a more proactive customer support. I think this goes around the line of a better customer-centricity.

Resource and capital allocation. In general, you can say that we are making a commitment of a minimum NOK 45 million in reduction in OpEx, but you should be aware that me and Eirik are having a strong focus and keeping an eye on how we can make sure that we run in a much more efficient way and that we keep a good cost control and balance this with how our revenues are developing. And then since you can also see that the cash position of the company, and there’s probably a question that will come around that, and I want to assure you that we are already in dialogues with the Board of Directors regarding future funding options and potential.

So I think this is a little bit of a guiding of what we are focused on during quarter 1 and quarter 2, and what you can expect. Like I said, we are not satisfied with the quarter 4. You also see the total year number. And we look at this as a temporary revenue decline. And having that said, of course, we have some respect for the task at hand, but we do believe that we have a solid product portfolio, we have road maps that we can accelerate as soon as we see the revenues picking up.

So with that, I think we are done with the call, and we can start the Q&A session. So operator, can you step in and start the Q&A session?


Questions and Answers


Operator [1]


(Operator Instructions) We have our first question. Please go ahead, sir.


Christoffer Wang Bjørnsen, DNB Markets, Research Division - Analyst [2]


So this is Christoffer from DNB markets. I just wanted to follow-up on the customer concentration. Obviously, it's been a problem previously, and now you're guiding for flat revenues into Q1. Could you just help us understand what share of this NOK 9 million into Q1 has been from the single and multiple customer? Is the concentration as big as it was with them? Or how should we think about that?


Peter Heuman, NEXT Biometrics Group ASA - CEO [3]


Yes, Chris.


Christoffer Wang Bjørnsen, DNB Markets, Research Division - Analyst [4]


We can't hear you.


Peter Heuman, NEXT Biometrics Group ASA - CEO [5]


No. Thank you, Chris, for the question. In terms of going into that kind of detail of how much and exactly what is driving the revenue, I do not see that we have historically done that. And I don't feel, at this stage, that we are going to start to change that and provide that insight. But if I should try to say something to guide you, we are having some stable volumes from the notebook segment. The revenue, even at this low level, has been partly mitigated, but only partly. And that is then, of course, from other areas and other type of customers. And that share has, of course, increased and this share will have to be increased going forward. And I think that's just a little bit of how I can try to guide you, but without explicitly saying -- stating it towards the NOK 9.2 million for quarter 4.


Operator [6]


We have our second question in.


Unidentified Analyst, [7]


It's [Håkan] here. What about the gross profit or the margin for the same though in future. Now it was negative. Is it still around 30%, 40%? Or is it lower or higher?


Peter Heuman, NEXT Biometrics Group ASA - CEO [8]


Yes. I think -- thank you, [Håkan]. That's a very good question, and I think it's a little bit delicate for us at this stage to say something and guide. I think if you look historically what the company have been doing, like you said, somewhere between the 20% and 30%, without guiding you, but let me try to put some color around it. So if you look at -- as we will increase our volumes, you will see -- there are a few factors to keep in mind. One is we have a high potential volume market like India where I believe we all can understand that we are in the lower stand of potential margin, but it can drive some decent volume for us. If you then look and where I've tried to guide as well is that what I see possibilities with is with the FAP20 to actually start to generate fairly good volumes in kind of share of wallet for us and where we have, from historic point of view, an upside in gross margin. And I think there, I try to at least, Håkan , partly balance it. So to kind of provide you an insight in -- versus the historic view and that you have both volume to consider as well as what kind of product mix. But I think I tried to also underline here that what we're focused on and then you can potentially draw your conclusions. And I think you will do that in a fairly accurate way.

So operator, do we have more questions? Otherwise, we have some questions that are coming over e-mail.


Operator [9]


Please go ahead, sir, with the e-mail questions.


Peter Heuman, NEXT Biometrics Group ASA - CEO [10]


Okay, we'll do that. We have a couple of questions here. I have a few from [Khanna], I will say, the first name. You had a very long last name, which I probably will pronounce wrong. Thank you very much for sending your questions.

The first question is, I believe, will NEXT Biometrics certify its sensor for mobile ID FAP20 as well? Or are you only in need of PIV certification?

My response to that would be that we, as a hardware manufacturer and a sensor manufacturer, we are very proud of having received the PIV certification and all positive that comes around that. We are not, per se, as a company, looking for the mobile ID kind of certification because I think this is more -- we are in engagement right now with, for example, terminal vendors. And when they bring our certified FAP20 sensor into their devices, we actually see that they are looking to certify their devices and their softwares for mobile ID rather than that we do it, but I think -- I believe they see us as a good starting point running through that certification. So I think that would be the answer to that question.

The second question I have here is, why -- it's basically a question, why do -- what do NEXT see as challenges to deliver volume of sales of sensors?

And I mean, that's a spot-on question when you look at the revenue numbers. And I think there are a few reasons to why we are where we are and why it takes a little bit of time before we can see the positive signs of revenue growth. First of all, from my perspective, so when I started, the funnel and the potential customer base who can drive revenue short to midterm looked in a certain way. And you inherit what you inherit, and it's going to take me a little bit of time depending on what that looked like before I can start to increase and have the organization help us increase the revenues.

The second thing is you need to have good customer-centric solutions, which part of that, as you have seen, is something that we have ready now from -- during quarter 4, but then with lead times, designing processes, et cetera, it takes a little bit of time. And then in general, I think it also has to do with what I have communicated about resources and capital allocation. You need to have an organization who is, short term, potentially extremely focused on mitigating if you are losing a big part of your revenue, then the balance of how many are working with that versus how many are working on betting on something which might be very good for the future. I think that's also putting an effect here on why we have seen that it's been difficult to scale.

Having that said, if we change these things, and I think that's what we have done during quarter 3 and quarter 4, you should start to see the first signs. And I think that's what I tried to say. I believe I start to see the first signs, positive signs. We have the deal in India. I have better underlying activity. We have the first commercial deal of FAP20. And I think the rest of the dimensions I mentioned is also what we have changed. Now it's going to take a little bit of time and then, hopefully, we should be able to prove you more and more commercial traction. That's a little bit how I started the conversation today as well. The most important part in the turnaround of this company is to demonstrate our capability of commercializing our great product. I think that's a great question.

I have a third question, and that is what's going on in the smart card market and what will that -- what will -- how will that play out for NEXT?

Once again, I think that's a great question. And I think I touched upon it a little bit earlier. To summarize it, NEXT Biometrics is ready. We are, in particular, ready for the broader smart card segment. We are opportunistically following that segment. And as soon as we see volume, we are a partner that can be interesting for those partners. When it comes to the payment part of smart card, I dare to say that it might not be a question if it's going to happen, but I am confident that there is a question related when it's going to happen. And if you look globally today, you can see that there are a lot of activities going on. But there are so many parties involved in aligning the whole industry and, historically, this has shown that it's taking quite a substantial amount of time. We still see that there is activities going. There are trials going. There are some early trials, et cetera, some in Europe and elsewhere, but I haven't seen any large-volume projects aligning the whole industry. And I think that's going to take time, but as NEXT, we are ready.

Okay. Those were the questions that I had online. So operator, if we don't have more questions, I think me and Eirik would like to thank everyone.


Operator [11]


Thank you, sir. There are no further questions for today.


Peter Heuman, NEXT Biometrics Group ASA - CEO [12]


No? Then me and Eirik would like to thank everyone participating and say -- wish you all a very good morning. Thank you for joining.


Operator [13]


Thank you very much, everyone. Today's conference has concluded. You may now disconnect.