US acquisition gives boost to ACT's results

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The Independent Online
THE FINANCIAL software group ACT has boosted flat profits from its existing businesses with a first contribution from BIS, the computer company acquired in June from Nynex, the New York telephone company, writes Tom Stevenson

Pre-tax profits rose 21 per cent to pounds 11.5m in the six months to September, largely thanks to a pounds 2.6m contribution from BIS for the 11 weeks from its acquisition. Earnings per share were 5.24p (5.01p) and the interim dividend was maintained at 1.75p.

BIS sells banking systems in Europe, the US and the Far East and supplies consultancy services to financial institutions and local governments. Last year, it made profits of pounds 7.6m from sales of pounds 105m compared with ACT's last full-year profit of pounds 20.5m from sales of pounds 153m.

Profits from continuing operations rose 2 per cent despite a 15 per cent increase in sales. Securities-related products continued to perform well but ACT Kindle, which specialises in retail banking systems, was down on last year.

Roger Foster, chairman, said: 'The acquisition of BIS is a big landmark for ACT. We are now one of the world's largest financial software product companies with 15 international offices and overseas sales in excess of pounds 70m.'

Integration of BIS increased ACT's overseas exposure, allowing it to service the increasing number of banks needing global communications systems. About 85 per cent of BIS's software sales were overseas compared with about a third of ACT's existing business. The shares lost 5p to 161p.

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