Problems with compliance software supplier Cobent have overshadowed a solid performance by the rest of risk control solutions software supplier Access Intelligence.
Revenues fell from £4.14m to £4.03m in the six months to May 2011, while the pre-tax profit slumped from £470,000 to £21,000. Cobent was the main reason for the fall in profit – it lost £230,000 and there were reorganisation costs of £202,000.
A new chief executive has been appointed at Cobent and the previous boss has left the company. The operations are being consolidated on one site and the plan is to rebuild a pipeline for new business. Losses are expected to continue in the short-term.
Access is trying to reduce its dependence on the public sector but pricing pressure is still being felt in that market, which remains important to the business. A profit of £100,000 is forecast for this year and then a recovery to £900,000 in 2011-12.
There was net cash of £1.17m at the end of May 2011. The balance sheet has been boosted by the sale of the Solcara business to Thomson Reuters for £2.5m – although £250,000 is held in escrow. The effective cost of Solcara was £282,000 and it made a modest profit contribution. Following the sale there is £4.6m in the bank, although net cash is likely to be nearer £3m.
Access can pay dividends following a capital reorganisation. A special dividend of 0.1p a share has been announced.
At the moment the focus is on making the most of the existing businesses but Access is still interested in acquisitions in the area of risk management software.
At 3.25p a share, Access is valued at £8.36m.
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