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Morse profits leap like a salmon

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Morse Holdings today reported a 60 per cent leap in profit for the year ended 30 June 1999 in its maiden preliminary results. The Sun/HP systems integrator posted pre-tax profit of £18.9 million, compared with £11.8 million for the previous year. Sales jumped 31 per cent to £283.9 million, against last year's £216.1 million. Morse, which floated in March, said operating profit before goodwill amortisation and exceptionals was up 19 per cent to £24.4 million. Earnings per share before exceptional items rose 17.4 per cent to 13.5 pence. The Middlesex-based company noted strong performance by its core UK business and said trading in the current financial year was in line with its expectations. Combined UK and German sales of the Group's Sun reseller division -- Morse Computers -- generated 58 per cent of the group’s turnover. Morse Computers (UK) turned over £135.6 million, up on last year’s £106.9 million. Morse Computers (Germany) had £31.3 million sales, compared with 1998's £18 million. Set up in 1997, Morse Germany is currently turning over £35.3 million. Duncan McIntyre, Morse CEO, said: "In spite of the management time and energy which was required by the flotation, our core UK business has continued to grow well and the replication of our UK model in Europe is proving successful. "I am also delighted that the depth of our offer is increasing our continued expansion into services." Morse has made two acquisitions since floating -- in May it bought Hughes Rae, Ltd., an e-commerce consultancy, followed by the finalisation in June of its buyout of Partner System SA in France. Analyst Richard Holway said: "Morse's chosen [business] areas are about the most exciting around." Which is a most peculiar definition of exciting. Morse service revenues grew more than 75 per cent to £30 million. ®

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