The first interim results of JBA Holdings Plc as a listed company make encouraging reading and shows there’s still money to be made out of the AS/400. The Birmingham, UK-based AS/400 business software house has turned round last time’s first half loss and added 28.8% to turnover in the six months. Pre-tax profits to June […]
The first interim results of JBA Holdings Plc as a listed company make encouraging reading and shows there’s still money to be made out of the AS/400. The Birmingham, UK-based AS/400 business software house has turned round last time’s first half loss and added 28.8% to turnover in the six months. Pre-tax profits to June 30 were UKP264,000, against a loss of UKP1.1m, on turnover of UKP38.5m and cash reserves were pretty healthy at UKP10.4m, after the UKP9m boost from the proceeds of a 11.9m rights issue (CI No 2,444). JBA is very confident about the full year figures, explaining that the first half figures were depressed by capital outlays: taking on extra sales staff, buying new computers and expanding the company’s infrastructure to maintain the company’s annual 30% turnover growth and will pay for themselves in the second half. Analysts confirm this optimism and Caroline Slater at Kleinwort Benson Securities predicts a full year pre-tax profit of UKP6.5m, and this could prove conservative. JBA’s business comprises software support services, product licences, maintenance and hardware sales. Turnover in support fell 6.3% to UKP13.3m, however this, JBA explained, came as the company focused on product development and transferred employees from support to development. Turnover from product licences rose 53.2% to UKP12.1m while maintenance was up 51.2% at UKP6.5m. The focus on products also increased internal development costs, up UKP2m at UKP5.9m on JBA’s Business 400 and System 21, plus UKP1.0m for Open Toolcase and JBA expects this level of expenditure to continue in the second half. The bulk of this expenditure has been spent on System 21, the replacement for the company’s core AS/400 product Business 400. Business 400 is being translated and re-engineered to Unix machines and System 21 is presently being beta-tested on the HP 9000 and RS/6000. Central to the translation is ensuring that components of System 21 will work alongside existing parts of Business 400. Hence graphical application modules will run alongside existing character-based ones. JBA’s ultimate aim for System 21 in 1996-7 is an object-oriented version running under NT, OS/400, Unix and OS/2 operating systems. The first version of System 21 for Unix machines will be launched in December and will pose the first competition for SAP AG in the corporate Unix market, and JBA is confident of success. OpenRoute the tool for translating RPG AS/400 applications to C++ is also proceeding on target. Version 3 of Guidelines, the graphical client-server object based development environment, was launched this month and Viewfinder, the company’s new graphical analysis tool, is also available now. JBA is proposing to pay a maiden interim dividend of 0.8 pence a share.