The computer software company Kewill Systems Plc has jumped back into profit after a making a loss last year resulting from the acquisition of Weigang GmbH of Germany from the receivers in 1991 for #500,000 and Kewiil is recommending a dividend payment of five pence for the first time since 1991. Kewill turned in a […]
The computer software company Kewill Systems Plc has jumped back into profit after a making a loss last year resulting from the acquisition of Weigang GmbH of Germany from the receivers in 1991 for #500,000 and Kewiil is recommending a dividend payment of five pence for the first time since 1991. Kewill turned in a pre-tax profit for the year to March 31 of #4m against a #5.2m loss last time on sales that fell 5% to #31.8m. Before its sale to management in 1993 Weigang ate up valuable cash resources in Kewill’s attempt to turn the firm around and eliminate bugs in its product offering. Cost savings proved more difficult than expected partly because of the tighter employment laws in effect in Germany. Walton-on-Thames, Surrey-based Kewill has a policy of acquisition and has expanded in the past by this method but it says that although this purchase was an acquisition too far, it hopes to get back on track with this policy in the current year with a focus on UK firms. Last October Kewill signed an agreement with IBM Corp under which IBM will market Kewill’s HAN Dataport CAD 400 product for architectural building services and building management applications. IBM has invested something in the region of #1m in the agreement which only began in January, so is too early to determine its sucess. The UK brings in 41% of total turnover and saw operating profit up 15% to #2.6m for the year. This was upheld through sales of the Micross manufacturing control system. The financial systems segment sales are largely from the PowerSystems product and the relatively new Dynamics Windows-based product is beginning to take a market share. The Kewill-Xetal arm of the company has seen healthy demand for its Electronic Data Interchange products in both the retail and public sectors, notably with the Training & Enterprise Councils and some Home Office departments, with business up 37% during the year. Kewill’s US trading contributes 16% of turnover and was the most successful arm during the year with operating profits up threefold to #1.21m, boosted by initial sales of the Windows-based version of Micromax as well as the higher margins available and the method of telephone rather than direct selling of products. However, operating profits in the German and Austrian markets did not fare so well and were down by a third to #970,000 which was put down to the continued economic difficulties in Europe. For the current fiscal year Kewill will be offering a re-developed version of its Trifid Software Pick product and is developing a new Micross product. The Financial Systems division is expected to benefit from the introduction of the Dynamics Windows-based product that is selling in the UK under licence from Great Plains Software Inc in the US.