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RM in ‘recovery mode’

Full year loss

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RM, the UK's biggest computer systems supplier to schools, made a full year post-tax loss of £4.8m but - little consolation this - didn't do quite as badly as it was expected to.

The losses come after Bad Stuff - staff redundancy costs, exceptional property charges and asset impairment - was thrown into the accounts to the tune of £9m. Also there's a charge of £2.2m for goodwill amortisation, but on the plus side, a tax credit of £1.1m.

On the operating side, RM made a profit before tax of £5m, considerably down on 2001 (£16.3 million). But it continues to generate cash, ending the year with net funds of £32.7m (2001: £27.1m). And it "returned £3.4m to shareholders during the year via share buy back". Which is an interesting way of describing a share buy back.

RM says it is well underway with recovery programme and has costs firmly under control; it needs this - the government-backed Learning Schools Programme (LSP) made its "peak contribution last year and is now in its final year of funding".

Group turnover fell 16 per cent for the 12 months to September 30, 2002 to £202.2m (2001: £241.9 million.)
Strip out the contribution from LSP and underlying turnover is down 11 per cent to £182.9m (2001: £206.7m). RM notes that second half performance was much better than the first with the non LSP revenues down 4 per cent year-on year. ®

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