- Health and Education according to Richard Holway in this month's System House, are the fastest growing outsourcing sectors ...and - - "in 2001, the public sector IT services market in the UK will grow at 2.5 times the rate of the services market in the commercial sector".
RM could well be one of the purest plays on the IT service offerings for the education sector. With 8 years of unbroken revenue growth and apart from a glitch in 2000, the same for profits,(Last year the Profit was hit by £5.4m exceptional cost due to an aborted project in NIreland.) the story at RM is pretty compelling.
I've been watching them for 12m or so, as a "high tech" complement to NAE. They did indeed have a setback last year which put me off :
"due to changes in the way gov. funding (via the Standards Fund) for ICT is being distributed, resulting in extended sales cycles as decision making passed from LEAs to individual schoools" - some spend therefore being deferred out of RM's FY" (R.Holway)
As Holway points out, if RM can sell to the new decision makers then their First Half will benefit as schools have to spend their funding by 08/02. RM has a number of new products ready for launch at the same time as new money via the Standards Fund mentioned above is due to jump by 45%
Locally we are seeing huge investment in IT with one state of the art school in particular, stuffed to the gills with IT investment.
RM's latest numbers showed turnover up 17% to £241.9m, PBT up 60% to £15.2m, a forward order book already at £110m and £21m cash.
Holway again: "RM is in an enviable position compared to many S/ITS comapnies right now"
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