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SCC: Brit biz are buying again, but as for mainland Europe ...

Products sales dip, services come good for Rigby tech dynasty

Strong UK economy

Professional Services were up in the UK by 27 per cent to £16m, with XP to Windows 7 migration — notice not Windows 8.1 — a “big contributor” to the business, along with SharePoint and Lync.

“It reflects the [growing] strength of the UK economy that there are a lot of projects, every area of PS is growing strong,” said Rigby.

On the Managed Services front, revenue was up at the half-way point to £35.1m. Flexible Resourcing — a new business launched to provide engineers where required — grew to £2.6m from zero. The rest of services revenues came from other areas, including recycling.

Gross margin in the UK was up to 13.4 per cent, versus 11.1 per cent in H1 2013, and dipped in France to 9.1 per cent from 9.7 per cent. It was down to 11.8 per cent in Spain from 13.2 per cent. At group level it jumped to 11.1 per cent, from 10.8 per cent.

Operating profit at group level bounced £3.02m to £5.44m: in the UK it rose 55 per cent to £3.75m; up £411,000 in France to £1.5m. Romania and MENA made up circa £1.1m.

Back in March, SCC devised a three-year plan to get to £50m EBITDA — it was at £34m in fiscal 2014 ended March — and put in place three directors to run things: John Bland is overseeing sales, Tracey Westall will handle marketing, and Mike Swain will run services.

Rigby told us it will acquire companies to help it get there, on top of organic expansion, with areas of interest including networking and comms, “not legacy businesses”.

“We have the data centre and the device, the bit in the middle with the pipes managing the comms between the two is a logical place to go,” he said. “Nothing is on the table at the moment but there are resources to deploy”.

The group employed 4,855 staff with 1,765 in the UK, 1,977 in France, 139 in Spain, 665 in the Romania operation, and 200 at M2.

The accounts were unaudited. ®

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