CRI’s Pandemic-Era Financials Likely A Window Into How Many Ecosystem Firms Fared In 2020

March 10, 2021 by Dave Haynes

I used to track a now long-gone CMS software company called Wireless Ronin because of the company’s impressive record of burning through investor money, but I gradually got away from that when the company was acquired by Creative Realities and came under adult supervision.

The quick story on Ronin is the company built up a deficit of about $100 million.

Under CRI, the remnants of the company, blended with other entities, has had a more normal track record in the industry, and I’ve not bothered reporting the quarterlies and annuals the CFO is required to file with regulators. They’re numbers that are only, really, interesting to investors, staffers and people looking at the company as a vendor.

However, I’m relaying CRI’s new quarterly and year to year results because they’re likely a bit of a window into how the broader industry has been doing in the past year. Most companies I have spoken with have said they had a pretty scratchy 12 months and were down, but they were getting through it and sensing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel was not an oncoming train.

Says the filings:

Revenues for CRI were $17.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, a decrease of $14.1 million, or 45%, as compared to the same period in 2019.

Operating loss was $16.1 million for the year, compared to an operating loss of $0.1 million during the same period in 2019. That loss included a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $10.7 million. If that is factored out, the operating loss was $5.4 million for the year.

Net loss was $16.8 million for the year, compared to net income of $1.0 million for the same period in 2019.

“CRI’s fourth quarter results generated positive EBITDA, build upon the successful stabilization of our business during the third quarter of 2020, and evidence the continued momentum towards a return to sustained growth as we and our customers begin to exit the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” says Rick Mills, CEO. “We believe that our implementation of cost control measures and expansion of our business into the Safe Space Solutions marketplace set CRI on a path for return to expansion in 2021 and beyond.”

“During the fourth quarter a resurgence in COVID-19 cases again put pressure on our customers as anticipated re-openings were again delayed; however, as we move through the first quarter of 2021, we experienced a reawakening of many current and potential customers of our digital signage solutions, with a renewed focus on integrating digital technologies into the patron experience as the U.S. prepares for reopening and the easing of government restrictions.

We expect that the second half of 2021 will present significant opportunities for CRI as a result of our ability to strengthen the Company’s market perception and competitive position during the COVID-19 pandemic, and significantly improve our balance sheet through activities executed in the first quarter of 2021.”

If you are into things like EBITDA, the rest of the financials press release is here:

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