Coinciding with its first deal to sell its Amarta life and pensions product to overseas customers under its partnership with Oracle Corp, Sherwood International Plc has reported its year end results and says it is confident that it will witness substantial growth in the run-up to the millenium. Sherwood has struck a deal with South African company Charter Life, part of the Liberty Life group and Sherwood’s chief executive George Matthews has pronounced it a good start to the year. The London-based insurance and assurance software house has reported profits of 1.7m pounds, down from 5.5m pounds last time, which included profits from the sale of the company’s City Deal subsidary in a move to return to its core business interets in 1995. The company has said that if City Deal is ignored, its pre-tax profits reflect a 73% increase to 2.1m pounds. Revenue was down 6.2% at 24.6m pounds. The company has phased out the investment management and local government sides of its business and is turning its attention specifically to Amarta which now accounts for 21% of the total, and the facilities and applications management business. Sherwood believes that facilities management, which accounted for 24% of business in 1996, will prove very successful as the year 2000 approaches and companies are looking to update their systems to cope with the date change. With the exception of its Lloyd’s interests, Matthews said that all areas of the business had performed beyond expectations. The year has seen the company edging towards the overseas markets, although the UK still accounts for the majority of its business. Sherwood is expanding into Europe and Asia and is on the look-out for a way into the US and Canada. Its partnership with Oracle has enabled the company to market its Amarta product internationally with success and now it is looking to introduce Senator reinsurance system abroad as well. Sherwood has said it will only be looking to acquire companies that are complementary to its existing insurance and assurance interests in the future. As part of its expansion plans, Sherwood plans to increase its current staff of 300 by 30% to 40% over the current financial year. Matthews said he was extremely pleased with the results and confident that the future is bright, with Sherwood continuing to invest in the research of emerging technologies. A dividend of threepence has been recommended, up 20% on 1995.