Bottom Line: On the way up

WAKEBOURNE, the small computer support specialist, increasingly looks like a company with a future. Formerly part of the collapsed Maddox Group, the division could so easily have gone down with the ship.

But this profitable operation, with a strong management that had been together 10 years, was rescued with a rights issue, capital reconstruction and a change of name to Wakebourne.

Yesterday's pounds 18.6m loss, against a pounds 453,000 profit, should not overshadow the pounds 2.6m operating profit made by its UK division.

This business has won some lucrative contracts this year to add to its blue chip client list.

The pounds 18.6m loss was almost entirely due to write-offs, resulting from the time when Maddox, built up by the South African businessman Hugo Biermann, made investments in and loans to a US electronics company, Lantek. These troubles are now behind it.

The new chairman, Leslie Warman, wants to drive the business, which will include both organic growth and acquisitions. The shares, 1.5p at the start of the year, are now 3p.

Plausible reconstructions are often signals to buy. Wakebourne could well be another example.

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