Feature

Morse tags Europe as growth area

Integration and service specialist Morse has highlighted Europe as a growth area for 2001, after it revealed soaring figures for the last six months of 2000.

Morse reported a 52 per cent rise in revenues to £308m, as pre-tax profits increased 33 per cent to £13.8m for the six months to 31 December 2000.

Chairman Richard Lapthorne insisted Morse was delivering on its promises by keeping top-line growth moving ahead and making progress in improving margins in Germany and France.

“We operate in the right markets with the right balance of products and skills, but only a small minority [of the customer base] has purchased a substantial amount of separately billed professional services so far, giving us further potential for professional service sales,” he predicted.

In the last six months, Morse’s continental European revenues reached £72.2m, compared with £50.5m last year. Of the total, France accounted for £31.3m and Germany for 0.9m.

Lapthorne said France and Germany had solid and profitable foundations and the company felt it had the financial and management capacity to expand into new European countries.

“We believe there is considerable opportunity to develop substantial businesses in continental Europe and we aim to build them to the same scale as our UK business,” he added.

Looking forward, Lapthorne said trading in the second half of the year had begun satisfactorily and revealed the company had a good pipeline of potential business.

He admitted it had not been immune to the turbulence over the past 18 months caused by Y2K and the dot com boom-to-bust phenomenon, but insisted the balance of its portfolio had enabled Morse to absorb the setbacks.

“No company in our sector can be immune from a sustained slowdown in general economic conditions,” he added.


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This was first published in March 2001

 

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