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RM escapes slowdown and reaps rewards of education IT spending

Education IT specialist RM predicted increased government budgets and the change in teaching methods to include IT would help it grow, as it revealed full-year results last week.

CEO Richard Girling also admitted that RM had not been affected by the economic downturn because government IT budgets were set three years in advance and it had good visibility of future spending.

"We have a large and loyal customer base which provides us with good resilience in times like this," he claimed.

Girling added that while continuing government targets drove further penetration into schools, the market was also being affected by changes in the way people teach.

"By providing tools to help the teacher at the front of the classroom, I think we will see a big increase in the amount of IT in schools. Technology is becoming central to teaching rather than peripheral to it and this provides us with a big opportunity."

RM reported a 17 per cent increase in turnover to £241.9m for the year to 30 September, while profits increased from £10.1m to £16.3m, before exceptional charges of £15.5m.

During the year, its headcount increased by 60 people to 1,500, but Girling warned that while it would continue to increase, it was likely to be at a slower rate in 2002.

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