IkeGPS, the laser measurement tool maker that expects to be cash break-even in the fourth quarter of 2017, is in a trading halt pending a placement of shares to institutional investors in Australia and New Zealand.

The company had operating cash outflows for the year ended March 31 of about $9.9 million and a cash balance at March 31 of $5.3 million, down from $10 million at September 30 last year, suggesting it will have burned through all its cash at that pace by the end of the September this year.

Wellington-based IkeGPS didn't give details in its notice for the placement sent to the NZX yesterday. The company more than doubled sales in the year ended March 31 to $9.2 million, although that included government grants. Revenue missed the $14.3 million forecast in its 2014 prospectus, which it attributed to a slower sales pipeline.

The measurement tool maker received $640,000 from Callaghan Innovation in its 2016 year, up from $364,000 a year earlier when it received subsidies from Callaghan and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise.


The company's net loss widened to $8.8 million from a loss of $5.1 million a year earlier and was bigger than the $5.8 million loss originally forecast. Still achieving break-even on a cash-flow basis in 2017 would be sooner than it had originally projected. In IkeGPS' first year as a listed company, its $1.9 million of sales was dominated by the utilities and communications sector and while that segment has grown fast, it added signage and construction in 2015, which has also achieved a surge in revenue, and contract revenue has also grown.

Its core technology platform was developed with the US military under an agreement to develop technology for the US Army Corps of Engineers. Its advisory board includes Punch Moulton, a retired three-star general who had oversight of 110,000 personnel at the US European Command, and Alan Nunns, former general manager technology at Chevron. IkeGPS shares last traded at 69 cents before being halted, valuing the company at $34.8 million. The stock has declined 1.4 per cent this year. It sold in the company's initial public offering in 2014 at $1.10 a share. The company is 7 per cent owned by the Government's New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.