Energis meltdown worries for UK corporates

Major UK corporate customers were today anxiously awaiting the outcome of a meeting between telecoms and IT services provider...

Major UK corporate customers were today anxiously awaiting the outcome of a meeting between telecoms and IT services provider Energis and its bankers.

Energis yesterday issued its third profits warning in six months and said it was at risk of breaching agreements with its bankers.

The company, which was spun out from the National Grid in 1997, has a string of major clients including the BBC and Post Office Pathway system, the electronic network connecting all the UK's Post Office branches.

Other clients include Lloyds, where Energis provides a major metropolitan network for 140 companies within the London insurance market. High street retailer Boots chose Energis to provide the backbone for its loyalty card and stock control systems, which links more than 1,300 locations nationwide.

NAFIS, the first single national system for storing, retrieving and sharing fingerprint records, runs on an Energis LANConnect solution, while the troubled telecoms company also runs call centres for Eurostar.

The company, which lost half its stock market value yesterday, is set to report its results in the next month.

The Communications Managers' Association told CW360.com that financial institutions needed to take a longer-term view of the telecommunications industry.

"Problems are as much to do with the city as they are to do with the health of major players in the IT and telecoms industries," said a CMA spokesman. As a result, he said: "business users are getting caught in the middle."

Describing city jitters as "understandable", the CMA spokesman nevertheless warned that the city was "in danger of causing unnecessary damage to the industry by not taking sufficient account of its long-term prospects and the underlying health of its companies".

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