A strong order book in the financial services sector helped UK software group Misys shrug off the impact of the strong pound in its first half.
The company increased interim pre-tax profits by 36 per cent to #32.1 million, while turnover rose by 24 per cent to #177.6 million.
Sales in the company?s banking division were the main driver, up by 42 per cent to #103.7 million. This was achieved through strong growth across all regions, particularly in the US. The order book was up by 88 per cent.
The impact on many banks of the deadlines created by the Year 2000 and EMU issues also supported growth, according to Misys chairman Kevin Lomax.
?Given the added stimulus over the next few years of changes to meet the Year 2000 deadline, and more importantly, the impact of EMU, the outlook for the banking division looks particularly good,? he added.
Lomax said that it was not yet clear what effect the crisis in the Asian economies - where Misys conducts 18 per cent of its banking business - may have on growth. However, he stressed that the immediate outlook in the region remains encouraging.
Even in the insurance sector, which has generally been slow, Misys saw sales growth of 15 per cent to #23 million and underlying profits up 23 per cent. The company is currently setting up an Internet insurance broking service - Misys Interactive Trading - and though additional investment is still necessary, the company believes that it will develop into an important channel.
Earnings per share increased to 27p (19.9p) and the interim dividend rose 15 per cent to 5.26p (4.57p).
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