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November 23, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Stratagem Plc has done well out of its recent expansion from its core investment business. The owner of computer service firm Firstpoint has upped pre-tax profit by 210.1%, to UKP1.2m. Turnover was UKP10.5m, but the auditors have ruled that as an investment company last year it didn’t have any turnover to quote. Earnings per share jumped 252% to 9.5p while the dividend stays at 4.75p. Firstpoint, traditionally a maintenance company, was acquired along with its parent in 1991. At the start of the year Stratagem was considering selling it to the now ailing Maddox Group, Plc but the deal was called off and in March Firstpoint was made a consolidated subsidiary. It contributed UKP700,000 in the second half to the group’s overall pre-tax profit, with profit in the second half roughly 25% up on the same period last time. Firstpoint’s managing director Richard Hill gave sketchy plans for expanding his business. Acknowledging the competitiveness of the maintenance market today, he said it would reduce dependance on bread and butter maintenance business by entering into more intimate partnerships with customers. Traditional maintenance contracts, which today account for 70% of Firstpoint’s turnover, would account for under half in two or three years, he vowed. The firm, which is cash positive, said that head-count wouldn’t drop as a result of the change.

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