Ipswich: Smart421 parent group KCOM to meet first half expectations

The Smart421 offices at Felaw Maltings in Ipswich

The Smart421 offices at Felaw Maltings in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Communications and technology group KCOM said today that its first half peformance had been “in line with expectations”.

KCOM, parent company to Ipswich-based systems integration specialist Smart421, added that it would be maintaning its investment programme and its “progressive” dividend policy.

Hull-based KCOM made the comments in a trading update head of its interim results for the six months to Septemer 30 which are due to be announced on November 26.

The group said that, as anticipated, net debt had increased since its year-end on March 31 but it expected this to reduce in the second half to be in line with market expectations at the end of the current financial year.

Bill Halbert, executive chairman, added: “I am pleased to report that the group continues to make progress towards achieving its longer term objectives.

“The cash generative capacity of the group means it is able to continue with its progressive dividend policy while continuing to invest in those areas that support the group’s ambition to achieve market leadership positions across all four brands.”

In June, KCOM posted a small increase in annual underlying pre-tax profits despite a dip in revenues.

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Profit from continuing businesses before tax and exceptional items grew to £52.7million for the year to March 31, up 3.1% from £51.1m the previous year, on revenues of £372.9m, down 3.7% from £387.3m.

The bottom line pre-tax total of £50.4m was 1.4% down from £51.1m the previous year, with the fall largely reflecting one-off restructuring costs.

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