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August 3, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

CAP Group Plc took the opportunity of its last end of year results in its old form to reveal that following the merger with Sema-Metra SA the new group is to be known as Sema Group Plc. The merger was announced on March 30 and took effect June 1, creating what the company describes as the first truly European systems company. The new group, which will operate in nine countries worldwide, has a combined turnover of UKP240m and in excess of 6,000 employees making it one of the top 10 systems companies in the world. The management admits however that there are gaps in our European profile; the group does not have any representation in Italy and only a small operation in Germany. There are plans to plug these geographical gaps but the company would not reveal whether it would be by joint venture or acquisition. The group now has a Cote Officiele on the Paris Bourse – equivalent to a full listing – as well as the International Stock Exchange in London. As a result of the merger the two companies have to align end of year results and have chosen to change to a calendar year for the merged group CAP’s year ran to April so the new firm will start life with an eight-month contribution from CAP, seven from Sema-Metra, previously on a year to end-June. Chairman Barney Gibbons said the combined assets of the group were approximately UKP51m and that there will be no rationalisation or reorganisation costs as the two companies are geographically complementary – the group will be headquartered here in London. He took a side-swipe at Cap Gemini Sogeti SA which, following the announcement of the merger, launched a dawn raid on the group and now holds 13.6% of the equity. He saw no reason to welcome such a move by its biggest competitor in Europe and said he found it difficult to regard such a move as the friendly action that they have claimed. CAP’s figures show a healthy 44% increase in turnover, rising to UKP113.1m with pre-tax profits rising 42% to UKP8.3m. The results include contributions from three acquisitions made during the financial year which accounted for about 10% of the group’s turnover. London Regional Transport’s computer systems development and software maintenance group, employing over 80 people, was acquired in May 1987 for UKP1.1m. Information design consultants Baddely Associates was acquired in June for UKP3.1m and in August Data Networks Plc, which specialises in facilities management services, was acquired for an initial consideration of UKP4.8m. Turnover in the company’s core activities has increased on average by 20% over the last four years, according to Mr Gibbens, and he expressed pleasure with all business groups saying the flow of orders has continued satisfactorily.

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