8/26/2008Photo Ticket Vendor Announces Massive Profit Growth
Australian photo enforcement company Redflex announces record profit and ticketing growth.
An Australian photo enforcement company today announced a period of record profits followed a fifty percent increase in the number of red light camera and speed camera tickets issued in the United States. In a report on results for the first half of the year, Melbourne-based Redflex informed investors on the Australian Securities Exchange that the company's after-tax annual profits soared 44 percent as US jurisdictions scrambled to jump on the lucrative photo ticketing bandwagon.
US drivers paid $71 million out of the total of $88 million in annual revenue at Redflex -- an increase of 26 percent over the previous year. The growth has been consistent since 2003 when the company operated fewer than 200 cameras across the US. That number has since ballooned to 1305 cameras operated on behalf of 210 jurisdictions. By the end of next year, Redflex plans to operate a total of 1745 cameras, with no end in sight to the growth of this "multi-billion dollar" business. With the cash flowing, Redflex moved its US office to a luxurious 76,500 square foot facility at the Pinnacle Peak Commerce Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Despite the positive outlook presented by the report, Redflex faces a number of serious legal troubles. Around five percent of the Redflex cameras have been idled by court decisions declaring red light cameras illegal, including a 2007 ruling of the Minnesota Supreme Court (view ruling). For that reason, Redflex has shown an uncharacteristic caution in avoiding the temptation of installing red light cameras in the Florida market, admitting that photo ticketing in the state is illegal (view Florida DOT ruling).
"Despite numerous competitive vendors' efforts, enabling legislation in Florida has not yet been enacted," the Redflex filing stated. "Legal opinions indicate that automated enforcement in the State of Florida remains illegal. Some competitors have proceeded at risk with early programs."
The Redflex report to investors boasted that the company's "mobile Speed product gained approval in the Netherlands" even after admitting that the company did not bother obtaining similar certification in the United States. This oversight constituted a serious breach of Federal Communications Commission regulations, for which the company now faces the prospect of federal sanction. In July, the Arizona Secretary of State found that the notary public employed by Redflex falsified documents used to certify speed camera deployments in Lafayette, Louisiana.
A full copy of the report is available in a 1.8mb PDF file at the source link below.