Admiral improves to pounds 4.6m

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ADMIRAL, the computer services group, improved pre- tax profits 16 per cent to pounds 4.6m in the year to December. Turnover rose 19 per cent to pounds 36.6m.

Clay Brendish, chairman, said growth was consistent across the software development, consultancy and training subsidiaries.

The training arm was boosted by an outsourcing deal with Barclays. The bank's information technology training staff have joined Admiral, boosting the number of its employees to nearly 800. Admiral remains a 'preferred supplier' to Barclays, Mr Brendish said. Admiral had earlier acquired another computer training business.

At the year-end the company had net cash of pounds 5.3m, and Mr Brendish said it would make further acquisitions. Admiral is a registered defence contractor. Clients include the Ministry of Defence and the Australian navy as well as big corporate customers.

Mr Brendish said staff recruitment had 'continued at an aggressive level' so far this year, reflecting an improving order book.

The final dividend of 4.3p made a total for the year of 6.3p, up 17 per cent. The shares closed up 20p at 535p.