Buoyant Hoskyns to hire 350: Resurgence in demand drives profits to pounds 13m 'as recovery begins in earnest'

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The Independent Online
HOSKYNS, the UK computer services company owned by Cap Gemini Sogeti of France, will recruit more than 350 staff this year to cope with a sharp rise in the information technology market.

The recruitment drive is in addition to the previously planned creation of 200 jobs at a new business services centre in the Scottish Highlands.

Tony Robinson, managing director, announced the expansion as Hoskyns reported a 67 per cent increase in net operating profits to pounds 13.3m last year from pounds 8m in 1992. Turnover in 1993 rose 7.7 per cent to pounds 214.8m in spite of stiff competition and pressure on prices.

Mr Robinson said although conditions in the industry were tough, 1993 was a turning point due to the successful relationship between Hoskyns and CGS.

The upturn in the market in first quarter of 1994 suggested that recovery had begun in earnest and that margins might return this year to levels seen during the 1980s. The evidence was that pent-up demand during the recession was finally beginning to be released.

Mr Robinson said: 'We have seen a remarkable recovery in demand and are actively recruiting top quality staff in virtually all areas to keep ahead and ensure that we continue to build on recent successes throughout 1994.

'As part of one of the major trans-national computer services companies we now have opportunities to win contracts that would not previously have been available to us.'

Hoskyns' fastest-growing business is computer services for the financial institutions - a sector it co-ordinates for other Cap Gemini Sogeti subsidiaries around the world.

The UK company, which has a workforce of 3,372, also operates in the public sector, industry and retail distribution and transport.

Mr Robinson said the services market had undergone a metamorphosis over the past few years and would continue to change.

Advances in technology mean that companies are using large numbers of inexpensive personal computers linked together to do jobs that previously required large mainframes. A further change is that traditional computer software and services companies face competition from many sources.

The agreed takeover last year of Hoskyns by CGS, when the French group paid pounds 137m for 30.7 per cent of the company it did not already own, was criticised by some industry experts as the end of another chapter in British computing history.

But Hoskyns, which still derives 85 per cent of its revenues from the UK, argued that it needed to be part of a larger family to participate in international markets.

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