Iomart on cloud nine as profits surge 123%

PROFITS at Iomart, the Glasgow-based web hosting company, jumped 123 per cent in the first half of the year, driven by strong growth in the "cloud computing" market.

The pre-tax figure to the end of September hit 1.16 million, up from 517,000 the previous year as the company signalled it would continue to stalk potential takeover targets. At the operating level, the firm generated profits of 1.06m after making a 384,000 loss during the same period in 2009.

In June, the Aim-listed company announced it had secured a 10m credit facility from Lloyds Banking Group to fund further acquisitions. Earlier this month it snapped up rival Titan Internet of Essex in a deal thought to be worth around 4m but chief executive Angus MacSween said talks with other potential candidates continue.

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"We had cash of 5m outwith the 10m facility so we had a total of about 15m and have spend just under 4m. We still have plenty of fire power for acquisitions," he said.

MacSween added that the company was benefiting from a lack of competition in the deals market. "There are not a lot of people out there buying, so sellers don't have as much choice."

Iomart estimates that cloud computing, where clients access data and software online or through rented computers rather than through their own terminals, now makes up 80-90 per cent of its business.

Income rose 36 per cent to 11.4m.