Coda on verge of pounds 50m full listing

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The Independent Online
CODA, a provider of financial accounting software packages based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, is coming to the stock market early next month at a likely value of about pounds 50m.

The company, with a pounds 23.5m turnover, made pre-tax profits of pounds 3.8m in the year to last October, up from pounds 3.2m in 1992.

Coda, which published its pathfinder prospectus yesterday, is seeking cash to fund its product development and expansion. Turnover has nearly trebled during the past five years, with about two-thirds of sales outside the UK.

Coda targets medium-to-large companies. Customers include P&O, Reckitt & Colman and TDK.

The group has two main software products. Its Integrated Accounting System is written for three types of computer - the Hewlett Packard HP3000, the Digital Equipment VAX and the IBM AS/400 range.

Its new Open Accounting System is designed for open systems - those built to external industry standards - and is not specific to one manufacturer's hardware.

Rodney Potts, Coda's chairman and managing director, said: 'The trend towards open systems is accelerating. Many companies want to rewrite their software to take advantage of it, but it is a huge job and they are increasingly willing to buy in financial software.'

He is also keen to expand geographically. Coda already sells in 15 countries. It will seek distribution agreements in smaller countries, and will eventually set up its own offices in large markets such as Japan, India and South America, where is does not have a presence.

An additional reason for seeking flotation is to provide the 300-plus employees with extra incentives.

'The real assets in this company are the people,' Mr Potts said. Coda will be setting up three employee share ownership plans worth pounds 5m in total.

Details of the listing are expected to be available on 3 February with dealings in the shares beginning six days later.

(Photograph omitted)

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