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April 13, 1987

DP RECRUITMENT “HAS HAD ITS GOOD YEARS” – TECHNOLOGY PROJECT CHIEF

By CBR Staff Writer

Technology Project Services Plc yesterday produced its first annual figures since being admitted to the full list of the London Stock Exchange in May 1986 and, in keeping with the tradition surrounding newly-public companies, the results were comfortably ahead of the prospectus forecasts. Turnover of the contract engineering and technical staff supplier for the full year to December 28 was up just 15.8% at UKP7.8m, but pre-tax profits shot up 33.3% to UKP860,000 as overheads in our business don’t go up in line with turnover. The company, which supplies staff to the likes of Unisys, NCR, Rodime, Racal, Wang, British Telecom and STC, has reorganised into business sectors – aerospace and aircraft, defence, petrochemicals, and telephony – and is looking to grow its 300 contracted staff next year by a similar amount to 10% to 13% it achieved in 1986. The colourful and outspoken chairman Richard Avery, the ex-Greyhound Corp manager who led Technology Projects’ buyout from Consultants and Designers Inc, says, however, that he is not interested in merely expanding his staff and, therefore, turnover: revenue doesn’t interest me, the bottom-line does. He has been, though, looking at possible acquisitions in the engineering or data processing fields – I wouldn’t go in the DP business right now; they’ve had their good years – but has been deterred by what he describes as most of his potential targets’ non-existant accounting methods. He has, he says, around UKP500,000 to UKP1m for acquisitions, mostly in deferred payments depending on results over three years, but is likely now, in the absence of anything suitable to buy, to concentrate his efforts on further organic growth.

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