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April 22, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:02pm

JBA GEARS FOR US FLOAT

By CBR Staff Writer

JBA Holdings Plc reckons it is the UK’s most successful software company, but as it announces its 15th year of continuous profits, the company is taking on a distinctly US feel. The Birmingham- based manufacturing software developer and IBM Corp AS/400 reseller has had a superb year with net profits to December 31 rising 42.2% to 6.2m pounds on revenues that rose 31.3% to 161.8m pounds. But the good news was delayed for five days in order to convert the results into a US comparable format. The change in accounting policies to conform to US standards took a 2.5m pound bite out of profits but because the board is focusing so hard on the US market, the one-time charge was considered worth it. Chairman Alan Vickery is even looking towards a US listing in the not too distant future. To be honest, we should have floated on the Nasdaq two years ago, he said. And the interest is mutual. Over the past 12 months, the amount of JBA’s stock owned by shareholders in the US has risen to 33% from 15%. JBA has carefully niche-marketed itself in the clothing, footwear, food & drink and automotive sectors. But despite its specialization, JBA now feels that its level of revenue and global approach show that it has truly arrived on the world stage. Its products run on AS/400, Unix and Windows NT systems and JBA now has customers that expect installation right across the globe. We can also expect to see acquisitions shortly. The board feels that more and more of the smaller players will sell out in the coming months as the cost of investment in product support forces them out of the market. Vickery feels that customers want the reassurance of a software provider that is guaranteed to be around in two or three years. He projects revenue growth rates of 7% or 8% per annum in the next few years. The figures may be higher if his vision of consolidation comes to pass.

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