Kapsch Falls as South Africa Lawsuit Halts Start of Toll

Kapsch TrafficCom AG (KTCG) headed for an almost 11-month low in Vienna trading after the Austrian maker of road-toll systems reported a first-quarter loss because of a slow start to U.S. sales and a project delay in South Africa.

Kapsch fell as much as 7.2 percent to 48.90 euros and closed down 7.1 percent at 48.98 euros, the lowest level based on closing prices since Oct. 6. The stock has dropped 16.3 percent this year, with a decline of 9.6 percent Aug. 20 prompted by Deutsche Bank AG recommending that investors not buy the shares.

The net loss was 5.9 million euros ($7.4 million) in the quarter ended June 30 compared with net income of 11.1 million euros a year earlier, Vienna-based Kapsch said in an earnings report. Revenue dropped 21 percent to 106.4 million euros.

The start of a road-toll system in South Africa’s Gauteng province was postponed indefinitely in April because of a lawsuit, eliminating expected revenue, Kapsch said. In the U.S., the sale of E-Z Pass on-board toll-calculating units started slowly in the quarter because of contract negotiations, the company said. In Poland, costs were higher than expected.

Kapsch has expanded into 30 countries including the U.S., where it supplies technology to 22 million drivers using E-Z Pass Group passes on toll roads. The technology provider said today that it expects a road-toll system in Belarus to begin operations later this year.

The company is a listed unit of Austria’s 120-year-old Kapsch Group, which supplies location-based services to companies including Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG) and 3M Co.

To contact the reporter on this story: Boris Groendahl in Vienna at bgroendahl@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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