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March 17, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Admiral Computing Group Plc blames a slowdown in finance and defence orders for a lower than expected 30% increase in turnover to UKP8.67m with pre-tax profits up 22% to UKP1.25m for the year to December, its first full-year figures since it went public last March. This contrasted with 1986 profits up 80% on a 50% increase in turnover. During the year Admiral moved to broaden its customer base by increasing its government business: defence accounted for 37% of turnover – mainly project management support work; finance-related business was 34%; government services accounted for 18%; and 8% was generated by exports – to other European countries. Admiral now looks to increase overseas sales and has opened a 10-staff office in Melbourne, Australia which will initially target the financial sector. Nearer home Admiral is working with the UK Health and Safety Executive on guidelines for organisations developing safety-critical software – an area which Admiral has marked for growth. It also has a major contract to install a custom transaction processing system for the Association of International Dealers using a Tandem system with on-line links to 2,000 intelligent workstations. A move into industry offering quality assurance services and safety critical software is planned. With plenty of cash in the bank, the company looks for complementary acquisitions in the UK – and it has no intention of succumbing to takeover itself: it sees the realignment taking place in the software sector providing more opportunities for smaller companies to increase market share by reacting quickly to customer needs and maintaining standards harder for the larger firms, it reckons. On the immediate outlook, it warns that margins have slimmed further in the first quarter, but it is looking for them to improve towards the end of the first half. At the interim period the company warned that it would not meet projected targets, and the full-year results show growth at about the sector average, all of which suggests that 50%-plus growth rates are now a thing of the past for Admiral.

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