- Eckoh reports further progress in securing new clients, both in the UK and US, and in particular, the first contract secured via its partnership with West Corporation in the US.

Eckoh says this continues the group's historic trend of achieving a strong second half performance, underpinned by the delivery of contracts won in the first half together with seasonal volume increases for existing Eckoh clients. As a result, the Group remains on track to deliver full year results to 31 March 2016 in line with market expectations. Most notably since Eckoh's interim results were announced in November 2015, the Group has won its first contract via West with the retail subsidiary of a major global media and entertainment group.

The contract initially covers implementing Eckoh's CallGuard solution into the company's 200 seat contact centre operations supporting its retail subsidiary but it is expected that there will be opportunities to deliver additional implementations within other parts of the business. It also represents a significant milestone in the Group's partnership with West, being the first contract delivered from the West sales pipeline that has over 30 sizeable opportunities. In addition to the previously announced new three-year contract to provide Haloh secure payments solution to a global multi-media retailer, other significant contracts secured to date in the second half also include two new contracts in the UK and an additional direct win in the USA. These latest contracts are with two leading UK utility companies and one of the world's leading online fitness websites, both delivering CallGuard. Following these recent wins, Eckoh has now secured 12 contracts in the US in total, eight of which have been secured in the current financial year, compared with four in the previous year, illustrating the speed with which momentum is building in the market. There continues to be a large number of sales opportunities in the pipeline in both the UK and US, through channel partners and directly.

It has also been notified that the UK patent for the Haloh tokenisation payments solution has been approved and will take effect on 17 February (patent number GB2497940). Since its launch in May 2015, this solution has rapidly become the leading sales proposition in the secure payments portfolio and the patent grant will ensure that Eckoh can protect the unique nature of the solution and our market leading position. Looking ahead, the group's expansion will be supported by the recent acquisition of Product Support Solutions, Inc ("PSS"), a US-based company specialising in the management of contact centre and customer experience technology, which is expected to open additional partnership opportunities. Integration of the PSS business into the Group is progressing on track. PSS's UK operation has now been merged with Eckoh's UK business and it is expected that the PSS and Eckoh US businesses will be fully integrated into a single operation early in the next financial year.

Chief executive Nik Philpot said: "The second half of the year started strongly and we are delighted to report today a number of new contract wins, including our first contract win via West to provide our recently US patented CallGuard technology to a major global media and entertainment company. We are also extremely pleased to have been granted the patent for our tokenisation solution, Haloh, which will help strengthen our sales pipeline further.

"Eckoh offers a unique proposition to our clients and the Board remains confident that there is a significant opportunity in the protection of customers' data, which will continue to support the future prospects of the Group. Together with our extended Group-wide direct sales capabilities and blue-chip channel partners in both the UK and the US, we have a strong new business pipeline in place. We are extremely excited about the potential to drive the Group's growth over the forthcoming months."

At 3:50pm: [LON:ECK] Eckoh PLC share price was -2.75p at 43.25p

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