Software firm Ideagen hails 9th year of growth

Ben Dorks was promoted to the chief executive role in May of this year. Picture: contributed.
Ben Dorks was promoted to the chief executive role in May of this year. Picture: contributed.
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Ideagen, the Aim-quoted software firm with a major presence in East Kilbride, has unveiled its ninth consecutive year of positive results, as it targets further US acquisitions with a view to becoming an increasingly global business.

The company develops software that helps businesses in sectors such as aviation, aerospace and defence, banking and pharmaceuticals, to meet their safety, compliance, audit and risk needs. Clients include PwC, Heineken, Emirates, International Airlines Group, the European Central Bank and Harvard University.

Total revenue in the year to 30 April amounted to £36.1 million, a year-on-year increase of a third, with organic growth accounting for 11 per cent of that jump.

Adjusted core earnings came in at £11m, 40 per cent higher than the previous year’s figure, while adjusted pre-tax profit was also up 40 per cent at £9.7m. Revenue from SaaS (cloud-based software services) rose by about three-quarters to £8.4m. Furthermore, 78 per cent of all new SaaS logo wins were from outside the UK and SaaS bookings experienced a 174 per cent rise.

Chief executive Ben Dorks, who was promoted from chief customer officer in May, told The Scotsman: “It’s been a very strong 12 months – we’re certainly very pleased with the results.”

The firm said operational highlights during the year included the April acquisition of “profitable, growing and cash-generative” US-based healthcare software specialist Medforce Technologies.

The $8.7m (£6.6m) deal, which added 300 US healthcare customers, also provided a “platform for further growth” in the US. Dorks said the transaction ties in with Ideagen’s strategy of acquiring businesses, as per its £13m purchase of Scottish management software firm Gael in 2014, that have robust recurring revenues and intellectual property, and in “complementary or adjacent markets… or, as in the Medforce acquisition where they are in new geographies, which we can then use as a launch pad for our existing products”. He added that Ideagen “remains committed to an ongoing buy and build strategy and we expect to complete further acquisitions this financial year”, with a US deal “certainly on the cards” in the next 12 months.

Ideagen has also been growing its support desk north of the Border as it continues to centralise support and marketing into its East Kilbride office, where it has more than 130 staff, as new acquisitions come on board.

“We continue to support development in [this] office as well,” he added, noting its work on Coruson, which helps large players in aviation, rail, advanced engineering, oil and gas and the chemicals industry, and is used extensively in Scotland.

Also flagged were “significant” contract extensions with the likes of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, a customer for nearly a decade, and Ideagen’s Q-Pulse quality management system used in departments including pathology, radiology and pharmacy.

“I think we’ve got a fantastic platform for continued growth for the future,” said Dorks, while executive chair and former CEO David Hornsby, said the board has faith in the group’s prospects “for the current year – and beyond”.