Craneware boosts Edinburgh staff on record results

Craneware chief Keith Neilson plans to boost the firm's Edinburgh headcount
Craneware chief Keith Neilson plans to boost the firm's Edinburgh headcount
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Software firm Craneware is seeking to boost its 100-strong headcount in Edinburgh by about 20 per cent after posting record annual figures.

The Aim-quoted company, which specialises in billing software for US hospitals, said revenues for the year to the end of June rose 5 per cent to $44.8 million (£29.1m), boosted by a record level of contract wins.

Pre-tax profits grew to $12.5m, up from $11.3m a year earlier. Chairman George Elliott – the former finance chief of audio chip developer Wolfson Microelectronics – said the firm was set to deliver further “sustainable growth” as it expands its range of products and services.

Craneware, founded in 1999, has its headquarters in Edinburgh with further offices in Atlanta, Arizona, Massachusetts and Tennessee, and employs about 220 people.

Chief executive and co-founder Keith Neilson said that the company, which generates more than 90 per cent of its revenues from the US, was looking for about 20 more people to join the team at its Tanfield site.

He told The Scotsman: “We want good-quality developers to come along and work with us on what we think will make a real difference to healthcare both in the UK and US.

“It’s predominantly developers but also customer support and quality assurance teams.”

The firm bought Ullapool software outfit Kestros – since rebranded as Craneware Health – in a £1.25m deal a year ago, and Neilson said it would be rolling out more mobile services based on Kestros’ technology for the UK and US markets.

He added: “We’re looking to launch this in the US early next year, and it’s a really exciting opportunity for a mobile-based platform to communicate with patients. In the US there’s been quite a shift over recent years from hospitals being very much a business-to-business organisation where they bill via an insurance company, government or large employer, to now billing the patient themselves. That communication with the consumer is far more important for our customers.”

Panmure Gordon analyst Adam Lawson said today’s full-year results were in line with indications given by Craneware in its July trading update, when the firm said it had signed contracts worth a record $72.5m in the 12 months to 30 June, up from $71m a year earlier.

Lawson, who has a “hold” rating on the group’s shares, said: “The drive towards value-based outcomes in the US healthcare market should play into Craneware’s hands and will shape the development of a new cloud-based enterprise platform.”

House broker Peel Hunt said the system, dubbed Trisus, would “enable greater functionality through the shared use of data across applications and greater up-sell opportunities as customers can more easily turn on new modules”.