Edinburgh’s Zonal hails 40th milestone with bumper R&D spend

CEO Stuart McLean - 'cutting-edge innovation'. Picture: Jo Hanley
CEO Stuart McLean - 'cutting-edge innovation'. Picture: Jo Hanley
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Zonal, the Edinburgh-based hospitality payments and point-of-sale specialist, is continuing to pump millions into research and development (R&D) as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Releasing results for the year ended 30 June 2018, the firm said that investment in R&D was up by 41 per cent, year-on-year, to £6.9 million.

Group turnover was steady at £54m following the R&D spend while operating profit before tax came in at £3.7m, down slightly on the £4m booked a year earlier.

The firm pointed to “another successful year of customer growth”, adding clients, system upgrades and increased product penetration to its existing customer base. This expansion contributed to a 95 per cent year-on-year sales growth in Zonal’s software as-a-service (SaaS) business.

Overall sales are predicted to exceed £60m in the latest financial year thanks to a “robust sales pipeline” and further uptake of its suite of products. The strategic acquisition of Comtrex Systems Corporation during 2018 has further strengthened its customer base and facilitated expansion into North America.

The firm also noted that like-for-like gross margins had grown by 4 percentage points to 70 per cent.

Chief executive Stuart McLean said: “This is a milestone anniversary for Zonal as we celebrate 40 years since our founder, and my father, Ralph McLean, launched the company after inventing the first hospitality electronic point-of-sale system for our family hotel.

“Since then, technology has changed beyond recognition and so have we as a business, both in terms of size and ambitions.

“These are exciting times and we look forward to another 40 years of cutting-edge innovation,” he added.