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October 17, 1995

BIG EXPANSION OF PHONE COMPANY SOFTWARE OPERATION

By CBR Staff Writer

The city fathers of Kingston-upon-Hull got a mention in the figures of Kingston Communications (Hull) Plc, as it is 90 years since they took the bold step of setting up the Humberside town’s telecommunications service, which is the UK’s sole remaining municipally-owned telecommunications company. Last year, however, it was businesses other than the core Network Services that provided the real interest. Pre-tax profits in the year to March 31 rose 5.8% to ú7.0m, on turnover that was up 8.7% to ú84.7m. Local call volumes rose 1% and national and international calls were up 10%. The company’s joint venture with Yorkshire Electricity Plc, Torch Telecommunications Ltd, is in the process of laying the first phase of a ú40m broadband network aimed at corporate users. Kingston Satellite Services secured a contract from the UK National Lottery operator, Camelot Plc, and has enjoyed the benefits of the Orion F1 satellite, launched in November 1994. Kingston-SCL, its Edinburgh-based software development company, won con tracts for its Jupiter billing and customer care software in Europe and the Pacific Rim during the year and saw a dramatic surge in turnover, according to the company. Kingston-SCL will be taking on most of the 120 new people that the company will aim to employ this year – a big jump as it currently employs 200 people. It will mainly target the US market this year. Overall, the headcount was 1,400 last year, up 78. Kingston Telecommunications Laboratories, which tests and reports on telecommunications equipment, exceeded its forecasts in the year, it said. Kingston recently announced its participation in the UK’s fourth video-on-demand trial with Video Networks Ltd, due to start in 1996 (CI No 2,712).

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