Mixed Year For Radio-Frequency Tag Maker

Versus, which makes equipment and personnel tags, saw prospects rise for fiscal '04, but soften in the last quarter.



Fiscal 2004 ended on a relative high note for Versus Technology Inc., maker of radio-frequency and infrared tracking devices for people and equipment. But the company's fourth quarter wasn't so high.

For fiscal year 2004, ended Oct. 31, Versus reported a loss of $328,000 on revenue of $5 million, compared to a loss of $794,000 on revenue of $4 million in fiscal 2003. A healthier 2004 tracks with the rise of radio-frequency identification projects in the retail industry.

Versus makes tags, used mostly in health-care, corporate, and security environments, that can be worn or applied to equipment. Movement of the tags can be monitored and related to other events in the same location.

The company says this is the first time since 1993 that revenue hit $5 million and is, in fact, the highest finish for Versus since it launched the monitoring products six years ago.

The company's fourth quarter wasn't as good. Versus reported a profit of $99,000 on revenue of $1.5 million, compared with a profit of $365,000 on revenue of $1.7 million for the same period a year ago.

Versus played up bottom-line improvements that it attributed to more sales, and sales netting more profit. It also said general and administrative expenses were held in check, as were sales and marketing operations.

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