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Horizon sees rise in revenues, earnings

And investment set to drive figures in 06 too

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Horizon Technology reported revenues of €294m for the year ending December 2005, up 5 per cent on the €281m it posted for 2004.

Earnings for the systems integration company, a major supplier of Sun Microsystems products, were up 10 per cent from €8.88 per diluted share in 2004 to €9.73 at the end of last year.

Horizon's trading profit rose 7 per cent year-on-year to €9.1m from €8.5m, while its trading margin grew from three per cent in 2004 to 3.1 per cent in 2005. The 2005 results mark the fourth consecutive year in which trading profit and diluted earnings per share increased, the company noted.

The company's gross profit also increased from €32.5m in 2004 to €35.2m for the year ending 31 December 2005. This marks a rise of 8 per cent year-on-year.

In a statement, Horizon said its enterprise solutions division performed very strongly with revenue rising 10.4 per cent and trading profit increasing by 12.8 per cent. Enterprise solutions now account for 88 per cent of the combined trading profits of the firm's two operating divisions.

Horizon's distribution and channel services business had a challenging year, however, with intense price competition, continued volume increases, unit price depreciation and margin contraction, resulting in a revenue fall of three per cent from €122m in 2004 to €118m in 2005. Trading margin was down from 1.5 per cent to 1.1 per cent year-on-year.

"[The year] 2005 represents a period of significant strategic and financial progress for the group," Horizon chief executive officer Gary Coburn said. "During the year, we delivered on our strategy of building additional partnerships with leading global IT vendors in our target markets, through a combination of acquisition and organic development. These recent business developments provide Horizon with a solid foundation to sustain medium-term growth and broaden our relationships with major IT vendors."

Over the past 18 months, Horizon entered into new deals with a number of leading enterprises including IBM, EMC Corporation, Veritas Software Corporation, BMC Software, Acer Corporation and O2.

In addition, the firm bought British internet security company EquIP Technology in February for €15.5m and placed more than 7m new ordinary shares with institutional investors.

Although the firm didn't provide an estimate for fiscal 2006, it does anticipate that modest market growth will continue due to investment in technology by corporate customers, particularly in the telecommunications sector.

Horizon Technology, which was founded in Ireland back in 1998, currently employs 160 people at a software development centre in East Point business park in Dublin.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

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