Admiral weathers tough conditions

ADMIRAL, the specialist software group, saw pre-tax profits climb 15 per cent to pounds 4m in 1992 despite what its chairman, Clay Brendish, described as 'extremely harsh and uncertain economic conditions'.

However, Mr Brendish said the company had advanced on all fronts and all six operating companies traded profitably.

He said the nature of the information technology services industry had changed. 'Companies are continuing to compete fiercely for business and commercial flexibility is the name of the game.'

The year ended on a high note for the main subsidiary, Admiral Computing, which develops software, with the sale of several customised products to big customers.

The consulting company had begun to obtain more business from the public sector, and Mr Brendish said it was well-placed for further growth.

Admiral's Australian subsidiary did not progress as quickly as expected because of the depressed state of the economy. 'But it was profitable, and a faint glimmer of upturn appeared in the last months of the year,' Mr Brendish said.

The Singaporean joint venture had won significant contracts and the company was in talks about expanding into Malaysia.

He said that plans to expand further into Europe were on ice until there were signs of economic improvement.

Admiral shares rose 10p to 480p on news of the results, but fell back to close at 470p.

Turnover rose 18 per cent to pounds 30.9m, and earnings per share were 11 per cent higher at 24.2p. The final dividend is 3.7p, giving a total of 5.4p, an increase of 13 per cent.

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