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By | Paul Kunert 6th June 2016 12:57

Microsoft's biggest UK reseller flashes fuller figures for '15

Trustmarque says there are £191m worth of reasons private equity should buy it

Microsoft licensing mountain Trustmarque won’t have done its chances of snaring a new private equity backer any harm by pushing out a decent set of trading figures for calendar year 2015.

The York-based reseller, which merged with sister biz TES at the start of last year, reported turnover of £191.9m, up eight per cent on a pro forma basis, or up 42 per cent on a statutory basis.

Software reselling accounted for £144.7m versus £135.39m in the prior financial year, and tech outsourcing and services some £47.22m. This was not split out in the prior’s year P&L accounts.

Trustmarque claimed it generated £99m worth of Microsoft licensing revenues during the year, meaning it accounted for 20 per cent of the software maker's public sector business, including 42 per cent of those to NHS and healthcare bodies.

New customers brought into the fold during 2015 included the Royal Borough of Greenwich, NHS Grampian, Coventry City Council, Volkswagen Financial Services and THE Camping and Caravanning Club.

Gross profit was £22.9m, up from £13.5m but a whopping 28 per cent drop in admin expenses to £9.45m boosted operating profit to £13.45m, versus £392,000 in the prior year.

Trustmarque didn’t say how it managed to chop millions from its operating expenses, and the clue wasn’t apparent in headcount, which went up to 516 from 192 due to the TES merger.

We asked the company to explain the reasons for this but have yet to hear back from the management team.

Profit after tax, interest and amortisation was £11.94m, compared to a net loss of £1.645m in the prior year when the company took a series of charges and other issues on the nose.

Trustmarque managed to avoid administration in 2014 after a change in accounting practises left it nursing a financial hole that former private equity owner Dunedin refused to plug. The business was then sold to Liberata, which already owned TES.

The seemingly successful merger with its sister company and these latest results put Trusmtarque in a relatively strong position as management negotiate with private equity moneymen over backing another management buyout. ®

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