When UK computer and telecommunications recruitment firm Delphi Group Plc – formerly Computer People – posted its annual figures this time last year (CI No 2,876), chairman and chief executive Tony Reeves spoke of the London company’s intentions to grow its US operation. Twelve months on, we can report that this has been the case, albeit by increasing the US contribution to 22% from 20% of Delphi’s total revenue last time. And in addition to buying Boston, Massachusetts-based sytems integration company Alpine Computer Services Inc last September (CI No 3,000), Delphi completed its acquisition of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based IT consultancy SystemsLink Inc (CI No 3,071) last month, for a total consideration of $2.6m or 1.6m pounds. Excluding any contribution from the two units, revenues for the US business rose 21% to $65.8m or $40.6m pounds. Delphi’s pre-tax profits for fiscal 1996 were up 37% at 12m pounds, on 210m pounds revenue up 20% on last year. Back in the UK, which contributed 70% of group revenue that rose 17% to 148m pounds, Delphi’s core business of supplying temporary skilled computer professionals grew its revenue by 12% to 129m pounds, while the permanent recruitment business – which the company says saw an increase of 26% in the number of jobs advertised compared with last year – did 7.4m pounds, up 22% on 1995. Delphi also warned that despite this growth, gross margins remain under pressure. The training systems and consultancy arm grew 94.6% to 7.2m pounds and it acquired training company Anthony Cook (Northern) Ltd for 2.5m pounds. In Europe, Delphi did 15.5m pounds business, up 10% on 1995, but the company predicts even slower growth due to the strengthening of sterling. The bill for the three buys came to 16.6m pounds and was footed by a share issue of 10.6m pounds plus internal funds. Operating profits in the UK totaled 12.2m pounds, up 39% on last time. The company managed to reduce net debt by nearly 9% to 9.1m pounds and net gearing even further to 45% from 57% at the interim (CI No 3,000). Delphi will pay a final dividend of 4.0 pence taking the total to 6.0 pence, an increase of 33% on 1995.