Hills Limited held its AGM in Adelaide today and announced that there had been a significant turnaround in the performance of the Company in FY18, delivering a net profit of $400,000, which was an improvement of $8.3 million over the prior year. In his report MD and CEO, David Lenz specifically touched on the company’s AV business.
David Lenz: Our Audio-Visual business has faced some challenges over the past 18 months as well which has impacted sales growth as we work to align ourselves with the vendors and solutions that best suit our business moving forward.
During the year we’ve added new vendors which deliver solutions in the following growth areas of the market covering:
- Emergency paging and life safety systems for airports and train stations;
- High powered amplifiers for large venues;
- Commercial audio digital signal processing (DSP); and networked audio solutions for the integration market.
The standout performance from our AV team was Williams Sound. Williams Sound provides hearing loop solutions and the team won a key deployment in 2018 with Sydney Trains, demonstrating the value of this technology in the community. Williams Sound sales grew 18% over the prior year and we expect this trend to continue with new product introductions this year.
Our Community Professional Loudspeaker brand also had a great year with strong momentum continuing into FY19 on the back of key project wins including the supply of tunnel horn speakers into the M4 and M5 Westconnex tunnel projects in NSW.
During the year we also revamped our Australian Monitor amplifier product range and established a clear roadmap for the next 24 months
In August we announced the new amplifier range at Integrate, Australia’s largest AV tradeshow. The range was well received, and we expect to see growth in our domestic and international markets over the next 12 months.
A customised amplifier product was recently created specifically for NSW Fire and Recuse who are rolling out upgrades to all Fire stations across NSW with this exclusive Australian Monitor product.
The AV business has started to turn the corner as we see sales of new vendor products starting to grow and along with the renewed focus on our Australian Monitor business we have a very optimistic outlook for the 2H of FY19.
On another positive note, the business recently secured a highly respected audio brand called Chiayo, a leader in professional wired and wireless microphones, which we will launch to the market in February. This will bring to Hills capabilities in this market that complement our Australian Monitor business as well as enabling us to re-engage with over 350 customers who specialise in this market.