Morse hails half-year performance

Morse hails half-year performance

Integrator posts rise in operating profit and announced retirement of chairman Richard Lapthorne

Integrator and professional services company Morse has claimed it is on track to hit its performance targets for the year after releasing its interim financials.

The firm, which also announced the retirement of chairman Richard Lapthorne today, posted turnover of £123.8m for the six months ended 31 December 2007, a drop from the £131.6m posting in the same period last year.

However operating profit for the six months increased by 10 per cent to £6.9m, compared to £6.3m last year.

Lapthorne, whose last day will be tomorrow (14 February) will be replaced by Kevin Loosemore, currently chairman of Micro Focus International and a former chief executive of IBM UK.

Commenting on the results, Lapthorne said: “Morse is now a fully integrated professional services business and is focused on implementing its strategy as a business and IT consultancy company offering specialist advisory and execution services. We are pleased with the progress and the Group remains confident in achieving its medium term performance targets .

“Morse has an excellent blue chip client base, is building a solid foundation in its chosen vertical sectors and specialist capabilities areas and is well positioned for growth. A strengthened management team is in place and I am proud to be handing the chairmanship to Kevin Loosemore during this exciting period for the Morse business."

Kevin Alcock, chief executive of Morse, said: “It is pleasing to report good progress for the first half with growth in operating profits, in-line with management’s expectations. As we continue to build our vertical sector specialisation, it was encouraging to see continued positive performance in Financial Services in the first half and at the beginning of the second period, good progress in Media-Comms as well as our existing strong pipeline of potential Business Schools for the Future (BSF) projects.

"Our continued focus on managing costs and improving the quality and mix of the business we undertake has helped build operating margins. The feeling of confidence within Morse that we saw at the beginning of the current financial year has remained and, while mindful of the general market uncertainties, we are confident of the Group’s prospects for the full year."