Logica's UK operation has outperformed its overall business and the company expects the UK to grow further as a result of demand from the utility sector, driven by the government's smart metering programme.
The overall business reported a 2% increase in sales in the three months to the end of September, compared with the same period a year ago. This was lower than expected due to a fall in its Benelux business, but its UK business grew by 6%.
Logica said of the UK business: "Having been down 2% in the first half of the year, the UK was our fastest growing geography in the third quarter and was back to growth on a year to date basis, with revenue up 1% to £544m. Third quarter revenue was up 6% to £183m. Public sector revenue levels have now been stable for the past five quarters, and the commercial sector growth also improved for the third consecutive quarter."
The company is expecting the government's smart meter programme to be a business opportunity in the coming years. "Energy and utilities is the key driver of growth as we deploy smart meter trials and the Shell fuel card contract awarded earlier this year," said Logica.
The GB Smart Metering Implementation Programme (SMIP) will help users manage their energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions by helping them better understand their consumption. Under the programme, 50 million smart meters will be installed in homes and businesses in the UK, and a data and communications infrastructure will be set up to transfer data between smart meters in homes and businesses and the yet-to-be-established Central Data and Communications Company (DCC) which will manage the data. Utility companies will receive the data from the DCC.
Energy supplier Scottish and Southern Energy has already outsourced communication, data and pre-payment services for smart meter system trials in the UK to Logica.