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Schools reseller sees results benefit from government policies

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Research Machines (RM) said today its soaring profits for the past year were due to government investment in IT in schools. The reseller, which specialises in the UK education sector, recorded pre-tax profit up 22 per cent to £12.3 million for the year ended 30 September 1999. Sales rose 24 per cent to £162.2 million, with diluted earnings per share up 25 per cent to 9.8 pence. The company saw 40 per cent growth in its software and services business. "Growth in our core business has been driven by the substantial additional funding available to primary and secondary schools to develop the use of information and communications technology in the classroom," said Richard Girling, CEO of RM. The company, based near Oxford, was one of 12 chosen earlier in July for the government's group of recommended IT resellers to schools. In March it won a £2.6 million contract to provide IT services to the State of Western Australia. This resulted in it setting up subsidiary RM Australasia, based in Perth. And the additional government multi-million pound funding for the National Grid for Learning was in place for RM's entire financial year. These and other factors let RM increase profit in an area where reseller rivals selling to businesses or end users have been feeling the pinch. ®

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