Life is good in the data centre – UKFast boss reports from hot tub

Sales up, swanky new HQ, G-Cloud approval...

If life is hard in the data centre space, then someone forget to tell the boss of UKFast, who may just be toasting a bumper 2013 from the confines of his corporate hot tub.

The Manchester-based hosting biz, which plies its trade from three fully owned bit barns in Trafford Park, posted results for last calendar year and they aren’t bad at all: top line revenue was up by 18 per cent to £23.3m.

The co-lo firm generated £10.2m of operating cash inflows that allowed it to spend £8.6m on a swanky new corporate pad - “the acquisition and refurbishment of its new 50,000 foot UKFast campus,” the firm said in its strategic report.

“The new HQ is an extraordinary workplace with facilities including an auditorium and bar, gym and steam room and even an indoor garden and pond on the top floor,” the document added.

Other points of interest in the year included the launch of the elastic virtual private cloud service, an apprenticeship scheme and getting accredited as a G-Cloud 4 suppliers – though we doubt the last one has led to an upsurge in sales this year.

The business also made its first acquisition, taking on the customer base of UK hosting firm BurstNET after recruiting M&A director Catherine Houghton. No specific mention was made of the deal.

All of this was designed to pave the way for expected growth of 25 to 30 per cent for the current year’s trade.

UKFast's headcount in 2013 went up 16 per cent over the 12 months to 170 full timers, with more sales, account management and techies hired to deal with new and existing punters.

“The expansion of the technical and account management team also enables the company to create an enterprise division early in 2013. This division focuses solely on the more complex, bespoke hosting solutions… for larger customers”.

Earning before income tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) – the profits with none of the costs – went up to £9m from £7.9m in the prior calendar year.

Operating profit declined slightly to £5.4m from £5.65m due to the office move, and after interest payments and tax, net profit came in at £3.95m this year, versus £4.26m for the previous period. ®

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