accesso Technology Group reports a strong first half performance and it says with four fully integrated business lines under the accesso banner it is now able to address customer needs in a highly responsive way.7 The group says this is the first year since 2012 where there has been no benefit from acquisitions within the current period numbers. In line with previous years, however, the majority of accesso's revenue and the significant majority of profit will be generated in the second half of the year. Group revenue in the first half was $39.7m, an increase of 23.7% year on year from $32.1m in 1H 2015. This included the benefit of two additional trading days in 1H 2016, increased implementation revenues, the continued drive by operators to upsell guests to season passes and the more favourable weather. The impact of foreign exchange movements on revenue was immaterial. The gross profit margin was 56.1% in 1H 2016, compared to 52.7% in 1H 2015, despite a slightly higher proportion of queueing revenue in 2016, as we benefited from improved margins on our non-queueing business. Operating costs across the group increased 13% in the period (approximately 16% in constant currency) reflecting the investments in 2H 2015, the continued scale-up of the organisation generally, and particularly in Asia and Australia, where a new office has been opened in Sydney to serve a growing stable of around 20 customers, including attractions operated by Merlin Entertainments in that region. Adjusted operating profit, which the Board considers a key underlying metric, increased by 212.5% to $5.0m (1H 2015: $1.6m), while profit before tax increased to $2.3m (1H 2015: Loss of $1.1m). Approximately $0.4m of this increase related to currency movements. It is not expected that currency will be a significant factor on a full year basis. Adjusted earnings per share in the first half of 2016 increased 260.2% to 15.74 cents (1H 2015: 4.37 cents). Executive chairman Tom Burnet said: "The first half of 2016 has seen Accesso win new business, extend market leadership and chart a course towards a successful full year. "We are now a long-term and trusted partner to many of the world's leading attractions operators. This places us in a very exciting position, with operators not simply using our technology but increasingly informing its evolution and even, in some cases, influencing the planning of new attractions. "The Group's strong performance in the first half reflects the work done last year to prepare Accesso for a period of accelerating growth. Although the first half of the year traditionally accounts for less than 40% of full year revenues and July and August have presented challenges with unhelpful weather conditions in some key markets, the early momentum gives the Board confidence that the Group is on track to meet its expectations for 2016."
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