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May 10, 1994

MMT COMPUTING FLOURISHES, GOES FOR GROWTH AS INVESTMENT STARTEGY PROSPERS

By CBR Staff Writer

MMT Computing Plc, the London-based software house, has announced strong across the board half-year figures. Turnover rose by 52% and pre-tax profits by 40%, to ?4.8m and ?1.2m repectively and earnings per share rose 33.3% to 6.4p. The figures for this half-year include ?55,000 from the sale of the company’s residual stakes in Total Computing Systems Plc, the UK financial and insurance software house, and P-E International Plc. The company has netted over ?250,000 from the sale of its investments in the two companies. However MMC’s holding in its Reading associate has proved less profitable, contributing only ?22,000 to the half-year figures. Mike Tilbrook, chairman of MMT Computing, admitted that its figures had been disappointing again but MMT had only made a minimal investment and the prospects for the company were so bleak that any return was to be welcomed. MMT’s London office, producing retail and finance software, had again been the company’s star performer, according to the chairman, contributing ?917,000 net, while the South East branch, covering insurance, contributed ?177,000 and the AS/400 software company netted ?99,000. The cash-rich company – its cash balances are over ?4m – is looking to fast organic internal growth. It has bought property adjoining its London main office, and is implementing a policy of very energetic recruitment and focussing on growth in the open systems and facilities management markets, with investment already placed in Oracle Corp’s and Ingres Corp’s proprietary languages. Tilbrook believes there are too many predatory software houses looking for victims in the market for expansion by acquisition. However the company remains alert to potential added-value investments, though Tilbrook dismisses talk of a takeover of Sherwood Computer Sevices Plc, where MMT recently declared a 4% stake. The experience with Quotient Group Plc, where MMT declared a stake only to be bought out by ACT Group Plc, has not worried MMT about Sherwood. ACT’s takeover returned a tidy profit for MMT on its investment and if ACT wants to repeat history that’s fine by MMT.

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