One year on from the shock of a full public listing, Cambridge, UK-based Cadcentre feels it has the balance right between its technical and commercial activities. Providing design software which routes pipes between reactor vessels in process engineering, Cadcentre is as niche as they come, but chief executive Crispen Gray is convinced that the Plc status has marked the final transition for Cadcentre from an old product focused outfit to a slick commercial organization with the emphasis on its sales team. Net profits increased to 554,000 pounds from 84,000 pounds in the six months to September 30, but excluding interest income from the company’s flotation cash pile, operating profits increased by 128% to 835,000 pounds. Revenue grew 6% to 8.2m pounds. Cadcenter now has a distinctly realistic attitude to software sales. Having seen that endlessly refining its software for large individual customers wasn’t making it any money, the company now wants to ship a uniform product through a direct sales team who are more at home with profit forecasts than the intricacies of software development. The process has been sharpened by the strength of Sterling. which has forced the company to cut down on R&D just to maintain a profit on its extensive overseas revenues. But the company hasn’t forgotten its developmental history, and is currently developing an Advanced Router for Piping, a piece of software which can automate the complex and highly expensive task of planning pipe layouts in tightly packed spaces. Gray is fully aware of the chequered history of knowledge based systems, but 35 prototype installations are up and running at sympathetic clients who are helping to develop the program. The design phase remains part hand driven but initial feedback points to a 30-50% productivity saving. Cadcentre will pay its first interim dividend of 1.2 pence.
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