The Investmnet Column: Hard drive

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The Independent Online
I ntelligent Environments, the Aim-listed software group, is raising pounds 7.5m in a placing at 80p to fund a marketing drive.

IE is exploiting the rise in its shares from 36.5p to 105p after January's trading statement. It is learning that innovation alone does not make for success. It aims to boost sales of its software, which allows browsers to remotely access other software over the Internet. This empowers call centre telephonists to call up consumer data on-screen.

IE has secured six contracts since the software's November launch, with the likes of Reuters and Royal Bank of Scotland, and is seeking alliances to capitalise. IE cut pre-tax losses for the year to 31 December by pounds 2m to pounds 1.02m - good progress, but the software market is increasingly competitive and future earnings growth is not guaranteed. Speculative.