New technology gives Microgen a boost

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The Independent Online

The recovery continued last year at Microgen, the computer data group that has suffered at the hands of more advanced forms of data storage equipment.

New technology, better marketing and a rationalisation of the business had restored the profitability of the UK business, Douglas Lee, chairman, said yesterday.

These moves had also resulted in a further year of good turnover and profit growth in the Nordic and German companies and laid a firm basis for future growth and development, Mr Lee added.

The shares jumped 13p to 191p as the group announced a 36 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 8.38m in the year to October. Earnings per share leapt 48 per cent to 14.8p and Microgen is raising the dividend from 7.25p to 7.5p, after a final of 5.2p.

The company has been heavily dependent on old-fashioned computer output microfilm business, which is losing out to new methods of data storage and retrieval such as optical discs and online publishing. But over the past two years Microgen has moved to cut the number of its microfilm bureaux and introduce more up-to-date products. Last year's profits are some way short of the pounds 10m or so hit at the peak in 1988, but represent a significant recovery from the pounds 4.23m struck in 1993.