Miami, Florida - (NewMediaWire) - March 30, 2020 - Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) (“Net Element” or the “Company”), a global technology and value-added solutions group that supports electronic payments acceptance in a multi-channel environment including point-of-sale (“POS”), e-commerce and mobile devices, today reports its financial results for the fourth quarter and the calendar year ended December 31, 2019. 

2019 Full Year Financial Results

  • Total transaction processing volume of $3.67 billion, an increase of 10.2% compared with $3.33 billion in 2018
  • Net revenues of $65.0 million, a decrease of 1.2% as compared to $65.8 million in 2018
  • Gross margin of $10.3 million, an increase of 1.0% as compared to $10.2 million in 2018
  • Operating expenses were $15.9 million, an increase of 9.4% as compared to $14.5 million in 2018
  • Net loss per share increased to ($1.60), an increase of 25.2% as compared to ($1.28) in 2018 primarily due to non-cash compensation expense and the impact of the Goodwill impairment charge

Fourth Quarter 2019 Financial Results

  • Total transaction processing volume increased 10.4% to $973.4 million, as compared to $881.8 million for the same comparable period
  • Net revenue increased 3.7% to $16.7 million as compared to $16.1 million for the same comparable period 
  • Revenue from value added services increased 61.5% to $0.84 million from $0.52 million for the same comparable period 
  • North American Transactions Solutions revenue increased 3.9% to $15.8 million as compared to $15.2 million for the same comparable period 
  • International Transaction Solutions revenue decreased 4.3% to $0.89 million as compared to $0.93 million for the same comparable period 
  • Operating expenses decreased 2.8% to $3.5 million as compared to $3.6 million for the same comparable period
  • Gross margin decreased 12.6% to $2.16 million as compared to $2.47 million for the same comparable period in 2018 due to an increase in processing costs 
  • Net loss per share increased to ($0.67) as compared to ($0.39) for the same comparable period 

"While the current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us and the industries we serve, we are focused on executing on strategies that will benefit the Company, our clients, sales partners and shareholders over the long-term,” commented Oleg Firer, CEO of Net Element. “We believe that our platform is now more important than ever for our merchants during these turbulent times as it allows them to accept payments in a multi-channel environment including online and contactless payments.”

The outbreak of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus

While Net Element’s annual results focus on its fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, the Company is actively monitoring and responding to the rapidly developing worldwide situation regarding the outbreak and continuing spread of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”).  The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, as the virus has continued to expand globally, with many countries and jurisdictions declaring state of emergencies and implementing public safety actions in an attempt to contain further spread.  

The Company has taken commensurate actions outlined by U.S health agencies, as well as, complying with country-specific mandates.  We are unable to accurately predict the impact that COVID-19 will have on our results of operations, due to uncertainties including the ultimate geographic spread of the virus within and outside of the United States, the severity of the disease, the duration of the outbreak, and actions that may be taken by governmental authorities to contain COVID-19 or to treat its impact. However, while it is premature to accurately predict the ultimate impact of these developments, we expect our results for the quarter ending March 31, 2020 to be adversely impacted with potential continuing adverse impacts beyond March 31, 2020.

Results of Operations for the Year Ended December 31, 2019 Compared to the Year Ended December 31, 2018

We reported a net loss attributable to common stockholders of approximately $6.5 million or ($1.60) loss per share for the year ended December 31, 2019 as compared to a net loss of approximately $4.9 million or ($1.28) loss per share for the year ended December 31, 2018. This resulted in an increase in net loss attributable to stockholders of approximately 31% primarily due to non-cash compensation of approximately $1.9 million, an impairment of Goodwill relating to our International Transaction Solutions segment of approximately $1.3 million as compared to $636,000 in the prior year, an increase in amortization expense of approximately $700,000 from the comparable prior period, and an increase in interest expense of approximately $300,000 from the comparable prior period, which was off-set by a decrease in bad debt expense of approximately $800,000, and an increase in other income of approximately $700,000.

The following table sets forth our sources of revenues, cost of revenues and gross margins for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018.

YTD
           
  Twelve   Twelve    
  Months Ended   Months Ended   Increase /
Source of Revenues December 31, 2019 Mix December 31, 2018 Mix (Decrease)
North American Transaction Solutions  $  61,778,002 95.0%  $  59,138,552 89.9%  $  2,639,450
International Transaction Solutions   3,221,609 5.0% 6,648,265 10.1%   (3,426,656)
  Total  $  64,999,611 100.0%  $  65,786,817 100.0%  $  (787,206)
           
  Twelve   Twelve    
  Months Ended % of  Months Ended % of  Increase /
Cost of Revenues December 31, 2019 revenues December 31, 2018 revenues (Decrease)
North American Transaction Solutions  $  52,395,752 84.8%  $  50,545,759 85.5%  $  1,849,993
International Transaction Solutions   2,325,958 72.2% 5,071,412 76.3%   (2,745,454)
  Total  $  54,721,710 84.2%  $  55,617,171 84.5%  $  (895,461)
           
  Twelve   Twelve    
  Months Ended % of  Months Ended % of  Increase /
Gross Margin December 31, 2019 revenues December 31, 2018 revenues (Decrease)
North American Transaction Solutions  $  9,382,250 15.2%  $  8,592,793 14.5%  $  789,457
International Transaction Solutions   895,651 27.8% 1,576,853 23.7%   (681,202)
  Total  $  10,277,901 15.8%  $  10,169,646 15.5%  $  108,255
           
QTD
           
  Three   Three    
  Months Ended   Months Ended   Increase /
Source of Revenues December 31, 2019 Mix December 31, 2018 Mix (Decrease)
North American Transaction Solutions  $  15,752,693 94.6%  $  15,161,975 94.2%  $  590,718
International Transaction Solutions   892,739 5.4% 934,973 5.8%   (42,234)
  Total  $  16,645,432 100.0%  $  16,096,947 100.0%  $  548,485
           
  Three   Three    
  Months Ended % of  Months Ended % of  Increase /
Cost of Revenues December 31, 2019 revenues December 31, 2018 revenues (Decrease)
North American Transaction Solutions  $  13,768,606 87.4%  $  12,968,417 85.5%  $  800,189
International Transaction Solutions   712,351 79.8% 656,603 70.2%   55,748
  Total  $  14,480,957 87.0%  $  13,625,020 84.6%  $  855,937
           
  Three   Three    
  Months Ended % of  Months Ended % of  Increase /
Gross Margin December 31, 2019 revenues December 31, 2018 revenues (Decrease)
North American Transaction Solutions  $  1,984,087 12.6%  $  2,193,557 14.5%  $  (209,470)
International Transaction Solutions   180,388 20.2% 278,370 29.8%   (97,982)
  Total  $  2,164,475 13.0%  $  2,471,927 15.4%  $  (307,452)


Net revenues consist primarily of service fees from transaction processing. Net revenues were approximately $65.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 as compared to approximately $65.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease in net revenues was primarily related to our International Transaction Solutions segment which experienced competition, certain economic challenges, and the loss of a major customer. In addition, growth in our North American Transaction Solutions segment was offset by the wind- down of certain merchant categories due to the industry-wide changes for enhanced card association and sponsoring compliance.

Cost of revenues represents direct costs of generating revenues, including commissions, mobile operator fees, interchange expense, processing and non-processing fees. Cost of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2019 were approximately $54.7 million as compared to approximately $55.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease in cost of revenues in 2019 as compared to 2018 of approximately $0.9 million was primarily driven by the reorganization of assignments from our International Transaction Solutions segment due to economic challenges facing this segment.

Gross Margin for the year ended December 31, 2019 was approximately $10.3 million, or 15.8% of net revenue, as compared to approximately $10.2 million, or 15.5% of net revenue, for the year ended December 31, 2018. The primary reason for the increase in the gross margin percentage was the result of North American Transaction Solutions segment processing of transactions utilizing our self-designated BIN/ICA and further acceptance of value-added services by the merchants, and an increase in merchants boarded.

Operating Expenses Analysis:

Total operating expenses were approximately $15.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, as compared to total operating expenses of approximately $14.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. Total operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2019 consisted of selling, general and administrative expenses of approximately $9.3 million, non-cash compensation of approximately $2.1 million, bad debt expense of approximately $1.4 million, and depreciation and amortization expense of approximately $3.1 million. For the year ended December 31, 2018, total operating expenses consisted of general and administrative expenses of approximately $9.8 million, non-cash compensation of approximately $100,000, bad debt expense of approximately $2.1 million, and depreciation and amortization expense of approximately $2.5 million.

The components of our selling, general and administrative expenses are reflected in the table below.

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 consisted of operating expenses not otherwise delineated in the accompanying audited consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss, as follows:

YTD        
Twelve months ended December 31, 2019        
         
Category  North American Transaction Solutions   International Transaction Solutions   Corporate Expenses & Eliminations   Total 
Salaries, benefits, taxes and contractor payments  $  1,230,858  $  516,737  $  3,021,665  $  4,769,260
Professional fees   520,019   259,349   1,607,185   2,386,553
Rent   -    80,107   221,987   302,094
Business development   226,633   1,747   44,452   272,832
Travel expense   133,300   46,403   105,422   285,125
Filing fees   -    -    103,760   103,760
Transaction gains   -    (61,200)   -    (61,200)
Office expenses   302,764   23,981   64,897   391,642
Communications expenses   151,033   199,862   84,651   435,546
Insurance expense   -    -    150,408   150,408
Other expenses   22,804   10,308   272,652   305,764
  Total  $  2,587,411  $  1,077,294  $  5,677,079  $  9,341,784
         
         
Twelve months ended December 31, 2018        
         
Category  North American Transaction Solutions   International Transaction Solutions   Corporate Expenses & Eliminations   Total 
Salaries, benefits, taxes and contractor payments  $  1,431,806  $  1,205,885  $  2,760,334  $  5,398,025
Professional fees   350,100   346,084   1,556,497   2,252,681
Rent   -    90,456   204,143   294,599
Business development   134,862   4,636   14,961   154,459
Travel expense   151,098   12,789   138,316   302,203
Filing fees   -    -    49,339   49,339
Transaction losses   -    94,573   -    94,573
Office expenses   307,593   35,646   51,997   395,236
Communications expenses   112,510   162,444   107,475   382,429
Insurance expense   -    -    136,643   136,643
Other expenses   2,842   18,244   277,415   298,501
  Total  $  2,490,811  $  1,970,757  $  5,297,120  $  9,758,688
         
Variance        
         
Category  North American Transaction Solutions   International Transaction Solutions   Corporate Expenses & Eliminations   Total 
Salaries, benefits, taxes and contractor payments  $  (200,948)  $  (689,148)  $  261,331  $  (628,765)
Professional fees   169,919   (86,735)   50,688   133,872
Rent   -    (10,349)   17,844   7,495
Business development   91,771   (2,889)   29,491   118,373
Travel expense   (17,798)   33,614   (32,894)   (17,078)
Filing fees   -    -    54,421   54,421
Transaction gains   -    (155,773)   -    (155,773)
Office expenses   (4,829)   (11,665)   12,900   (3,594)
Communications expenses   38,523   37,418   (22,824)   53,117
Insurance expense   -    -    13,765   13,765
Other income    19,962   (7,936)   (4,763)   7,263
  Total  $  96,600  $  (893,463)  $  379,959  $  (416,904)


The total decrease of approximately $400,000 in selling, general and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2019 as compared to the prior year was primarily due to the Company’s continued monitoring of operations and the labor costs necessary to maintain or increase revenues, and the reorganization of assignments in the International Transaction Solutions segment, which resulted in a decrease of approximately $900,000. These objectives were also responsible for the decrease of approximately $600,000 in salaries and contractor expense associated with the consolidated operations.

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Regulation G Disclosure

To supplement its consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), the Company provides additional measures of its operating results by disclosing its adjusted net loss attributable to Net Element, Inc. stockholders. Adjusted net loss attributable to Net Element stockholders is calculated as net loss attributable to Net Element stockholders excluding non-cash share-based compensation and other non-operating, non-recurring items. Net Element discloses this amount on an aggregate and per share basis. These measures meet the definition of non-GAAP financial measures. The Company believes that application of these non-GAAP financial measures is appropriate to enhance the understanding by the Company’s investors of its historical performance through the use of a metric that seeks to normalize period-to-period earnings.  A reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures with the comparable financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP for the year ended December 31, 2019, and December 31, 2018 is presented in the following tables.

   GAAP   Share-based Compensation  Impairment Charge Relating to Goodwill   Adjusted Non-GAAP 
Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2019    
Net loss attributable to Net Element Inc. stockholders $  (6,458,382) $  2,050,862 $  1,326,566 $  (3,080,954)
Basic and diluted loss per share $  (1.60) $  0.52 $  0.34 $  (0.74)
   Basic and diluted shares used in computing loss per share  4,041,957    4,041,957
Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2018    
Net loss attributable to Net Element Inc. stockholders $  (4,936,182) $  142,017 $  636,000 $  (4,158,165)
Basic and diluted loss per share $  (1.28) $  0.04 $  0.16 $  (1.08)
   Basic and diluted shares used in computing loss per share  3,868,324    3,868,324


Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Non-GAAP measures should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP. Non-GAAP measures exclude significant expenses that are required by GAAP to be recorded in the Company's financial statements and are subject to inherent limitations.

About Net Element
Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) operates a payments-as-a-service transactional and value-added services platform for small to medium enterprise ("SME") in the U.S. and selected emerging markets. In the U.S. it aims to grow transactional revenue by innovating SME productivity services using blockchain technology solutions and Aptito, our cloud-based, restaurant and retail point-of-sale solution. Internationally, Net Element's strategy is to leverage its omni-channel platform to deliver flexible offerings to emerging markets with diverse banking, regulatory and demographic conditions. Net Element was ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in North America on Deloitte's 2017 Technology Fast 500™.  In 2017 we were recognized by South Florida Business Journal's as one of 2016's fastest growing technology companies. Further information is available at www.NetElement.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Words such as "continue," "will," "may," "could," "should," "expect," "expected," "plans," "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, many of which are generally outside the control of Net Element and are difficult to predict. Examples of such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to whether the Company will be successful in executing strategies that will benefit the Company, its clients, sales partners and shareholders; what the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the Company and its  operations, whether the Company will achieve further growth or achieve its goals and when the Company will reach profitability. Additional examples of such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to (i) Net Element's ability (or inability) to obtain additional financing in sufficient amounts or on acceptable terms when needed; (ii) Net Element's ability to maintain existing, and secure additional, contracts with users of its payment processing services; (iii) Net Element's ability to successfully expand in existing markets and enter new markets; (iv) Net Element's ability to successfully manage and integrate any acquisitions of businesses, solutions or technologies; (v) unanticipated operating costs, transaction costs and actual or contingent liabilities; (vi) the ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel; (vii) adverse effects of increased competition on Net Element's business; (viii) changes in government licensing and regulation that may adversely affect Net Element's business; (ix) the risk that changes in consumer behavior could adversely affect Net Element's business; (x) Net Element's ability to protect its intellectual property; (xi) local, industry and general business and economic conditions; (xii) adverse effects of potentially deteriorating U.S.-Russia relations, including, without limitation, over a conflict related to Ukraine, including a risk of further U.S. government sanctions or other legal restrictions on U.S. businesses doing business in Russia; and Net Element's ability (or inability) to continue as a going concern. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements can be found in the most recent annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed by Net Element with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Net Element anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause its plans, intentions and expectations to change. Net Element assumes no obligation, and it specifically disclaims any intention or obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by law.

Contact:
Net Element, Inc.
Tel. +1 (786) 923-0502
Media@NetElement.com
www.netelement.com