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June 19, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:54pm

EXPANSION IN PROFITS ENABLES REBUS TO ABSORB DEMERGER COSTS

By CBR Staff Writer

Rebus Group Plc is counting the cost of going it alone following its separation from C E Heath Plc back in April 1996 (CI No 2,894). The computer services and software group has incurred extra charges of 1.1m pounds which it attributes directly to setting up as a newly listed public company. Rebus has just completed its first full year of trading following its demerger, and net profits for the year to March 31 were 3.6m pounds up from 225,000 pounds last year with revenues growing 10.7% to 66.4m pounds. The additional 1.1m pounds of overheads are due to the cost of remunerating the senior executives together with the purchase of new corporate head quarters. But the costs have been easily absorbed by growing revenues. Ignoring the one-off costs of demerging, operating profits from Rebus’ established markets increased 31% to 9.3m pounds. Outside of the company’s core business, big investments have been made in chasing new markets. The newly formed MBS division has developed a real time broadcast scheduling application aimed at the growing number of small television companies. The system is called Proteus and it allows broadcasters to solve graphically the complex business of program scheduling on multiple channels. Despite being available since December, Proteus has yet to make a sale, although Rebus is hoping to announce the first customer shortly. In another new development the MPD division has been working on a solution for a telephone directory service in the mobile phone market. Mobile phone service providers have been reluctant to collaborate on any form of printed phone book because of the threat of poaching of subscribers by rival companies. Rebus wants to solve the problem with a secure electronic data base holding all the information independently. Enquiries will be handled rather like the current British Telecommunications Plc directory enquiries service. The mobile service providers love it because it can be charged for and it will generate more air time revenues. Rebus has invested a lot of time and money in creating a working solution but it’s all in limbo pending a report from the UK market regulator Oftel on future government policy in this area. The report isn’t expected to be available before the end of this summer. The board is recommending a final dividend of 1.2 pence per share bringing the total for the period to 1.8 pence. Last year’s final dividend was 1.16 pence.

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