NZ Herald: Vista's Movio strikes deal with movie giant Disney

Movio's new deal with Walt Disney Pictures to supply research, analytics products and services is "the Holy Grail" for the company, chief executive Will Palmer said.

The company, which is part of cinema-point-of-sale systems supplier Vista, said that Disney - which nows Marvel Studios - had settled on a multi-year deal, making it the last of the major studios to sign.

"It's definitely the one that, for us, is the Holy Grail," Palmer told the Herald.

Executives said the terms of the agreement were confidential.

The other big Hollywood studios - such as Warner Brothers, Universal and Sony - are already Movio clients.

Movio is one of two main strands to Vista's business.

The biggest is Vista Entertainment Solutions, which is installed in more than 60 countries, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, the UK, India, China, Australia and New Zealand.

Management estimates that in excess of a billion cinema tickets are processed every year through Vista.

"Movio's purpose is to connect everyone to their ideal movie," Palmer said.

"What we have built is a software platform that connects sale and loyalty systems of all the leading cinemas of the world.

"What we do is build profiles of every moviegoer, which is used for advanced targeting, and measurement of marketing campaigns," he said.

"Disney invests huge amount of money to identify who they are making films for and who what is going to reach them. Movio's services are built for that".

The system typically works through loyalty card systems, which capture customer details.

In future, Palmer said the technology could be used of "greenlighting" or deciding what films should be made.

Devon Funds Management portfolio manager Tama Willis said deal underscored the potential for Vista and Movio.

"Vista had previously identified that Disney, the largest Hollywood studio by box office, was a key target for Movio and we see this agreement as underpinning strong growth for this business over the next 2-years," Willis said.

At its first-half result in August, the company said it expects to maintain sales momentum through the rest of the year as the acquisition of a Latin American cinema analytics reseller helped boost first-half profit 36 per cent.

Vista lifted first-half revenue 20 per cent to $60.1 million and said it expects to maintain that pace of expansion through the rest of calendar 2018.

If it does achieve 20 per cent revenue growth for a fifth straight year, this would see annual sales reaching $127.9m - four times Vista's revenue in 2013, before it went public.

The company's net profit attributable to shareholders climbed to $5.2m in the six months ended June 30, from $3.8m a year earlier.

In June, Vista signed an agreement to supply its specialised software to France's biggest cinema chain - Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont.

Vista shares, which debuted on the NZX in August 2014 at $2.40, last traded at $3.90, up 3c on the day.

NB: This was originally posted by NZ Herald on 1 October, 2018. The link to the original article can be found here.