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Millennium rush pays off; Soaring shares and pounds 30m in the bank for Misys.

Shares in Misys surged ahead after the Midland computer giant announced top-notch figures.

The company - whose systems are designed to beat the Millennium Bug - benefited from the banking sector's rush to gear up for the year 2000 and the introduction of the European single currency.

Misys also announced it has raised pounds 30 million from the sale of several non-core businesses including Specialist Business Systems in Stratford, which have been picked up by a venture capitalist backed management buy-in team.

Writing back goodwill leaves Worcester-based Misys with a pounds 19 million hit in its full-year figures.

But the half-year results out yesterday showed revenues up 62 per cent at pounds 288 million and profits 83 per cent higher at pounds 59 million.

The figures were inflated by a pounds 13 million profit contribution from Medic, the major US acquisition Misys made in the second half of the last financial year.

But profits from the core banking and securities division still rocketed to pounds 46 million from pounds 27 million. Chairman Mr Kevin Lomax admitted the first half had been exceptional, largely due to the introduction of the euro.

But he points out that banks are now focusing IT finances on new systems to cut costs and put their businesses ahead of rivals in the increasingly competitive industry.

"We reckon our market place will continue to grow at around 20 per cent per annum while at the moment growth is running at more than 25 per cent," said Mr Lomax.

Misys systems experienced no major glitches with the launch of the euro and the company is confident the millennium bug can be beaten.

Underlying earnings from the company - which employs around 600 in the Midlands including 200 at Birmingham subsidiary ACT - rose 46 per cent to 7.9p per share during the half year, with the share issue to fund the Medic deal having a slight dilutive effect.

Analysts expected full-year earnings to be around 16.5p, supporting yesterday's share rise from 504p to 585p.

The interim dividend is up 15 per cent to 1.21p per share while the figures showed debts were around half those at the same period 12 months earlier at pounds 111 million.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 29, 1999
Words:367
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