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September 16, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 11:38am


By CBR Staff Writer

When Gordon Crawford took his small credit management software company, London Bridge Software Holdings Plc, to the London Stock Exchange in March, he promised a speedy expansion of the company into worldwide markets. Not an unusual pledge, but six months down the line, things could hardly be going any better. In the half year to June 30, the company increased net profits by 86.5% to 621,000 pounds with revenues climbing 103% to 4.1m pounds. There isn’t a single area of the business which is behind budget, said Crawford. The shares have jumped 84% to 368 pence, and from a standing start six months ago, revenues from outside the UK have expanded to over a third of business. London Bridge sells and maintains large and complex debt management and credit scoring data base software. The company already has a stranglehold in the UK, operating licenses in all of the big UK clearing banks. More significantly, sales into the US have now reached 1m pounds, and with the acquisition of the RMS division of Checkfree Corp in August for 20.1m pounds (CI No 3,195) rapid US expansion is a sure thing. According to Crawford, RMS was the only real competitor of any weight in the US. London Bridge forced them out of the UK market some time ago, and now, with its biggest rival kicking for the same side, Crawford is rubbing his hands over the cross selling opportunities. The RMS product has a huge user base in the US, from General Motors Corp to The Bank of New York, but the software only deals with debts that have been classified as bad or charged of. Crawford wants to add his Debt Manager product to each site, enabling clients to begin the debt management process as soon as an account goes into arrears. International sales into the US, Poland, Indonesia and Singapore have, in Crawford’s eyes, proved that the product is fully exportable, something which was perhaps still unproven six months ago. And all this from a product which runs on mainframes, IBM AS/400s and Unix boxes, and up until now hasn’t even had a proper graphical user interface.

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