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By | Paul Kunert 11th July 2011 12:42

Redstone looks to future after tough fiscal 2011

Networking integrator posts £11m losses, sales slide

Networking integrator Redstone is hailing the return of its mojo after getting through a year of significant upheaval.

Exiting markets, carving up operations and more than halving its workforce took a toll on financials in the year to 31 March 2010 as the firm notched up losses of £11m – albeit better than the £14.8m posted a year earlier – and sales slid 7.1 per cent to £67.1m.

Redstone cut operating losses 19 per cent to £5.3m, made a loss of £5m from discontinued operations, but posted EBITDA of £1.1m, a marked improvement on the £500,000 losses reported in 2010.

During the fiscal year – and most notably from September when new Chairman Ian Smith and chief exec Tony Weaver joined Redstone – the firm backed out of the BSF market, and offloaded the telephone maintenance biz, and the Irish and security reselling units.

The workforce fell from 860 heads a year ago to 413, down 52 per cent, including 145 fewer employees at the continuing operations.

In the Chairman's statement, Smith said the numbers were due to "deferred or cancelled ICT contracting business reflecting difficult market conditions [and] the adverse impact of the material restructuring of the business during H2".

However, he claimed that following the dramatic overhaul of operations, "Redstone has regained its corporate confidence" and will look to engage more effectively engage with its "re-defined target market".

Smith added that the existing business pipeline and investment opportunities are healthy, but warned that the IT market was still facing some challenges.

"Economic recovery in the UK remains fragile, with weak consumer confidence and public sector retrenchment providing continued uncertainty across the economy, and I believe that companies will continue to drive internal efficiencies to counter the weak trading environment," he said. ®

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