Year-end profits at Kewill Systems Plc were hit by UKP2.3m losses at Weigang MCS GmbH and the financial effects of selling the manufacturing software house to its management in March (CI No 2,138). But since getting rid of the troublesome firm, Kewill now believes it is back on track to resume our progress in the […]
Year-end profits at Kewill Systems Plc were hit by UKP2.3m losses at Weigang MCS GmbH and the financial effects of selling the manufacturing software house to its management in March (CI No 2,138). But since getting rid of the troublesome firm, Kewill now believes it is back on track to resume our progress in the future. For the year ending March 31, pre-tax profits fell 82% to UKP4.3m, but by the net stage, ended up in losses of UKP5.7m the London-based software house had to write back UKP5.6m in acquired goodwill as a result of the disposal of Weigang. Turnover also dropped 20.3% to UKP33.3m due to both a flat performance at continuing operations and the loss of sales from discontinued operations. But Kewill attested it was quite pleased with the results – despite the recession in Germany and Austria, which has particularly affected the manufacturing sector, we more or less held profits if Weigang’s figures are not included, it said. Fortunes were mixed in the UK, but overall operating profits were down 3.8% to UKP2.2m. Pick software firm Trifid made an excellent recovery and saw profits up 92% – the Unix version of its IBS manufacturing packages sold particularly well and it intends to release an open systems version of its SB software by the end of the year. SBOpen will be object-oriented with an event-driven graphical user interface, and will run under Unix, MS-DOS, IBM Corp’s OS/2, Microsoft Corp’s Windows, including NT when released as well as NetWare and UnixWare operating systems.
HAN Dataport best performer
However, success here was offset by a 40% slump in profits at the company’s manufacturing package supplier, Micross. Kewill has tried to rectify this by merging two sites into one, and by aggressively cutting hardware engineering stock, which cost it UKP200,000. Of the other UK companies, the most noteworthy was Xetal Systems, which again achieved record profits. With the help of sponsorship from the UK Department of Trade & Industry, Xetal has launched a new Electronic Data Interchange service for small retail suppliers that feel they cannot justify the expense of an EDI system. The firm has set up an electronic clearing house to link retailers and their suppliers in two alternative ways. First, via a one-way retailer to supplier link. The supplier installs a Xetal Edifax box at his site, and the retailer then sends orders to it via the clearing house. Second, by means of a two-way link – both trading partners communicate using personal computers that are connected via the clearing house. Both can then opt for direct EDI connection, if they so desire. Xetal reckons this system will be irresistible to users because they don’t have to make a large capital outlay customers pay quarterly on a usage basis. Accountancy software firm Omnicron will also become the sole distributor of Great Plains Software Inc’s new package, Dynamics, outside of the US, Canada and Australia. Dynamics runs on both MS-DOS personal computers and Apple Computer Inc’s Macintosh – it is due to be released in the US in July and two months later in the UK. On the other side of the Atlantic, manufacturing software house, Micro MRP, released the first of a series of Windows modules, and for the first time, has started targetting large corporates as opposed to small to medium-sized companies. Nonetheless, operating profit here fell 33.9% to UKP275,000, partly due to UKP400,000 exceptional charges – the firm cleared several doubtful orders and bad debts, and adjusted its balance sheet to cover software maintenance. The best performer, however, was computer-aided design firm Han Dataport, which operates in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. Despite a disappointing first half, it rallied in the second, particularly in Austria, to push operating profits 4% ahead of the previous year in local currency terms. However, 20 staff out of a former 59 have lost their jobs in an effort to try and cut costs in anticipation of the difficult economic conditions ahead. Han is now the largest value-added reseller for Hewlett-Packard Co in Au
stria, and has signed up Electronic Data Systems Corp to distribute its Haus-Technik or building services computer-aided design package.