Detica profits from anti-terror dividend

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The Independent Online

A boom in government spending on counter-terrorism and national security contributed to a 37 per cent rise in overall sales at Detica, the technology company used by the British intelligence community to analyse its highly sensitive databases.

A boom in government spending on counter-terrorism and national security contributed to a 37 per cent rise in overall sales at Detica, the technology company used by the British intelligence community to analyse its highly sensitive databases.

National security sales to the Government rose 53 per cent to £27.9m, with the division that builds specialist pieces of equipment for the security services doubling revenue to £5.6m.

The amount of public funds being pumped into counter-terrorism and national security has led Detica to announce plans for a new office in Washington to capture spending by the US security services in the anti-terrorism campaign.

"The national security component [of sales] in particular benefited from the continued attention being paid by the UK Government to security in the current geopolitical climate and accounted for £27.9m of the total [£53.5m]", the company said. "We saw a substantial increase in the revenues we generate from US national security clients during the year. These revenues totalled about £3m (2003 £0.9m). We plan to open an office in the Washington DC area by September 2004 to more effectively service this growing demand."

Other military projects Detica worked on include the Soothsayer battlefield electronic warfare programme and the Watchkeeper airborne surveillance system. Profits rose 24 per cent to £9.2m and Detica's shares closed up 10p at 637.5p, close to their 12-month high.

As well as government contracts, Detica also sells its services to companies. This business performed less well. Excluding an acquisition in August, commercial revenue fell 6 per cent, although the second half of the year saw a sharp turnaround with turnover up by 46 per cent. It has started working for customers including BT, AstraZeneca and Barclaycard.

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