Challenger Acquisitions, the company that brought you the London Eye, continued to make headway in rolling-out its giant observations wheels worldwide, despite setbacks in Indonesia.
Thus far, 2016 had been an active yet challenging year for the company, with positive board appointments, capital raises, plans for a new manufacturing facility in the Netherlands and development of potential projects for the firm's newly acquired Starneth Group, together with delays in the construction of the Giant Observation Wheel (GOW) in Jakarta, the company said in a statement.
"Overall, the steps we have taken have strengthened our position as the go-to team for the design, engineering and delivery of GOWs," said the engineer.
The company expected its NY Wheel Project to be inagurated in early 2018 and touted the financial potential of its investment, with the three million tourists which boarded the Staten Island ferry each year all considered to be potential clients.
Challenger held a three million dollar
or roughly 2% equity stake in that American project and a pipeline of 25 new GOW projects worldwide with the aim of rolling one out each year.
By way of comparison, it was estimated that between three to four million visitors rode the London Eye every year, making it the UK's most popular paid-for attraction.
A GOW project in Jakarta, on the other hand, ran into unexpected delays, with the developer in that Asian country still to secure the necessary bank funding arrangements.
During the latest reporting period, the company also appointed Richard Marin as a non-executive director; it was Marin who successfully raised the funds for the development of the NY Wheel.
The engineer also raised £2.5m of funding through the issuance of new convertible notes to help finance its ongoing efforts, which helped to offset a six-month loss before tax of £1.51m.
Cash and cash equivalents as of 30 June 2016 stood at £434m, down from £1.08m one year ago.
Significantly, after period-end NY Wheel Investors returned $1m which were being held in escrow.
Also after 30 June 2016, Challenger negotiated payments with three Starneth vendors linked to the Jakarta project, with the payments now due in the first half of 2017. The payments were secured by one common equity unit of NY Wheel Investors held by Challenger until the payment was fully paid.
"Regarding the outlook, the Company has also commenced discussions with certain financial and industry partners to assist in accelerating the development of our potential projects. We believe this is going to be a transformational time for Challenger, as we are at various stages of discussions in regards to multiple GOW opportunities in four different and carefully selected locations worldwide," said John Le Poidevin, the company´s non-executive chairman.
Challenger´s share price was down 2.37% on Tuesday at 19.77p at 1029 BST.