Planar Sees 20% Rise in Digital Signage Revenue

Overall revenues down in fiscal Q3, but company officials continue to emphasize philosophical shift centered on digital signage products.>

Planar Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLNR) watched its total revenue drop about 3 percent in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the same time last year, but company officials are enthused by the steady increase in digital signage product-related sales.

Digital signage products accounted for 60 percent of Planar’s $42.5 million in total revenue in 2015 Q3 ending June 26 and rose almost 20 percent from the prior year. Some of that comes from Planar’s launch of the DirectLight LED Video Wall System in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.

Planar saw a 24 percent decrease in sales of its commercial and industrial products, down from $22.5 million in fiscal 2014 to $17.2 million in fiscal 2015. Still, the continued emphasis on digital signage-related products has officials optimistic going forward.

“We’re pleased with our third-quarter results,” said president and CEO Gerry Perkel in a conference call discussing the quarterly numbers. “It was somewhat better than our expectations in terms of profits and we once again attained double digit growth in our digital signage product lines. Our performance during Q3 reflected our continued progress in transforming our business model and making them more profitable and higher-growth company.”

Revenue generated by digital signage product sales accounted for 60 percentage of Planar’s total third-quarter revenue.

The decrease in sales of commercial and industrial products was primarily due to lower sales of custom displays, rear projection cubes and high-end home products, said Planar CFO Ryan Gray.

Tiled LCD systems were down 3 percent to $15.2 million compared to last year, primarily due to timing on projects, says Gray, adding he expects to see growth in that area in the fourth quarter. Digital signage monitor sales were up 77 percent to $10.1 million from the same quarter a year ago, driven by continued strong demand for Planar’s large-format 4K resolution, 84- and 98-inch UltraRes displays.

“We continue to see a number of trends creating significant growth opportunities for our digital signage products,” said Perkel. “From an application point of view, we continue to see more organizations looking at digital signage applications. Retailers continue to strive to create more of an experience in their brick-and-mortar outlets in their efforts to compete with online purchasing, also integrating their stores into their omnichannel market activities as a growing trend. Both of these trends create opportunities for digital signage products and applications. Additionally many of these applications include the desire to create interactive display systems for customers to become more fully emerged in the experience.

“In the corporate world, we see several use cases evolving in which our products are potentially good candidates for deployment. More and more companies are looking to communicate and to enhance their image in the lobbies of their buildings. Often these approaches involve digital signage applications as well as interesting architectural uses of video. Beyond the lobby, companies are finding value in transforming some of their conference rooms into interactive collaboration rooms, then enable multiple groups to interact on projects while having access to numerous sources of data in a digital environment. Touch interactivities are often utilized in this type of application,” said Perkel.