If investors at venture-capital biz 3i are considering floating or selling UK public-sector tech giant Civica this year, then its decent financial results will focus a few minds.
Paperwork filed at Companies House show Civica's operations in Blighty turned over £109.6m in the 12 months to 30 September 2012, up from £99.6m in the previous fiscal year. But as anyone in the IT distribution channel knows, revenue is vanity and profits are sanity. But despite an 18 per cent hike in admin expenses to £71.3m, the bottom line held up well.
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Operating profits climbed 11.3 per cent year on year to £12.8m and net income moved up in the same order, rising 11.7 per cent to £8.02m.
In a report from the directors, Civica UK said customers continued to spend on software and servers to "facilitate, improve and transform a wide variety of business processes". On top of selling Microsoft gear - Civica is a large account reseller in the UK - the company also flogs proprietary software used as a platform to walk customers into the cloud.
"Our pipeline of opportunities in these areas has continued to expand quickly due to sustained customers budget and service pressures," the report added. The number of employees went up by 200, including TUPE transfers, the firm revealed.
In the UK public sector, Civica claimed it dealt with 90 per cent of councils, police forces and fire services and 80 per cent of healthcare providers.
As revealed last October, 3i employed the services of financial advisers at Rothschild Group to help it make a profit on its £190m purchase of Civica in 2008. The options for 3i include debuting the biz on a stock market or selling it with the existing management team.
Fiscal 2012 results for the group's holding company Topco Cornwall show global revenues - covering the UK, Australia, southeast Asia and the US - went up 10.4 per cent year on year to £201.8m. It made an operating profit of £13.5m - after amortisation and exceptional charges of £21.4m - compared to £13.18m a year earlier.
But interest repayments of £18.4m and tax bill of £4.8m led to a net loss of £3.9m, albeit better than the £10.5m loss in fiscal 2011. 3i was unavailable to comment. ®