Sema Group Plc has reported its best set of financial results to date and managing director Pierre Bonelli says that the company’s number one priority for the coming year will be to develop its telecommunications business. Sema saw its profits rise 33.3% to 37.0m pounds, while revenue increased 36.8% to 927.0m pounds. The telecommunications arm of the business increased to 13% from 9%, but Bonelli suggested that the company’s finance interests would play a big role in the future of Sema. He said: I believe that along with the telecommunications market, over the next five years finance will be the market with the largest growth. However, figures for the year to December 31 indicate that the defense market continues to have the top spot in the company’s business at the moment, but it grew only 17.6% in comparison to the telecommunications business which increased 101.5% over the year. The UK remains Sema’s largest concentration of business geographically, accounting for 39% of the company’s revenue, but Sema is very keen to develop its business in the US. The company has been prevented from breaking into the US market in the past owing to legislative banking problems, and Bonelli said that cracking the US is very high on the agenda. The way into the US may prove a little simplier for the company following a deal with AT&T Wireless, which it is viewing as a very exciting development prospect. Bonelli also expressed his eagerness to expand and develop in the business systems market with emphasis on electronic business. Electronic commerce, electronic banking, electronic government and customer service will all have a key role in the future of business, he says: What we want to do is ride the wave of electronic business. Sema has made numerous acquisitions in recent years, spending 138m pounds on investment activity for the year, but has hinted that 1997 will not be as acquisition-focused as 1996 was. There was a 20.0% increase in organic revenue growth, with public sector activity falling one point to 15%, industry at 12% from 9%, services off two points to 12%. Bonelli said that 1997 would be a year that would witness integration of Sema’s acquisitions and a commitment to develop opportunities in the US. Sema proposes a final 3.7 pence dividend, bringing the total to 6.0 pence, a 20% rise on 1995.