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October 8, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

NMW Computers Plc, the Nantwich, Cheshire-based financial software and services house which in May acquired London-based Charterhouse Group Plc (CI No 1,680), is sustaining reasonable levels of profitability, showing pre-tax figures up 83% at UKP384,000 on revenues up 13% at UKP5m. Results don’t yet include a contribution from Charterhouse, since the company was taken over only six weeks before the period end, but the London developer of IBM AS/400-based insurance broking, legal and debt-recovery systems has lately been turning over annually between UKP3m and UKP4m. The company, now called NMW Charterhouse, is being run as a separate subsidiary under NMW guidance. All 80 staff were kept on, except the finance director and a couple of technicians. Though at first there were some systems development problems namely that Charterhouse wasn’t strong on getting products out on time, chief executive Nigel Banister says headway is being made to rectify this, and since last month new products have been shipped in all three areas in which Charterhouse operates. NMW bought Charterhouse as a means of getting into the legal and Lloyd’s broking markets, and of buying into a new hardware environment – NMW products were previously restricted to the ICL arena. The debt-recovery side to the business, says Banister, has been something of a bonus – in fact, he enthuses, we closed a good sale on this only this morning. NMW has been investing heavily in its facilities management business, Systems Management Services, spending some UKP500,000 to re-skill this business. The division has recently signed an agreement with Pont Data Services to transmit its on-line financial services over NMW’s X25 packet network. The investment in facilities management, coupled with the working capital needed to sort out Charterhouse, has extinguished NMW’s cash reserves, leaving the company in the red, though Banister assures that this is only temporary, since there should soon be an influx of revenues from the new Charterhouse products. Watch this space for further NMW acquisitions, which Banister says are imminent; no details were given, though Banister emphasises the current pre-occupation with facilities management. An anouncement is expected in the near future.

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