Xansa predicts sustained growth as orders flood in

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The Independent Online

Xansa has recorded its highest growth for five years after it won a series of deals with organisations like the BBC over the past six months.

Alistair Cox, chief executive of the IT services and outsourcing specialist, said he expected growth to accelerate in the second half.

"This is sustainable growth despite a difficult marketplace. We are now a growth company that is improving its margins," he said.

Xansa said that pre-tax profit in the first half of the year leapt 13 per cent to £8.5m while revenue increased more than 7 per cent to £188m.

Xansa expects to continue winning business from government organisations in the second half. The company increased its public- sector revenue 91 per cent during the first half of the year. It also performed strongly outside the government sector after winning deals with Threshers and Barclays.

Mr Cox said that the company's order book was at its highest for four years, driven by increased demand for outsourcing.

Xansa was one of the first companies to invest in building a presence in India, where it got involved in the late 1990s; now it employs 55 per cent of its staff in the region.

UBS analyst Mark Bryan said the company had "turned the corner" and he expected to see further progress in the second half of the year.

Analysts expressed concern that the company's pension deficit increased to £100m but Mr Cox said that the rise was the result of a calculation issue.

"It is under control and we are actually paying it off faster than we planned," he said.

The company's joint venture with the National Health Service to outsource NHS Trust finance and accounting functions recorded a loss of £1.2m. The loss was wider than expected but Mr Cox expects the unit to become profitable in the "near future".

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