Belfast Telegraph

Acquisition working well for Novosco as profits rise reported

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland IT company Novosco has reported 12% growth in turnover to £23m in 2016, with a target of £27m for the year ahead.

Pre-tax profits at the cloud IT services firm, which has major UK housing associations and NHS bodies among its clients, were up 10% to £2.4m.

Last year the company, based at Catalyst Inc in Titanic Quarter, acquired English IT firm NetDef for around £2m, in a move which increased Novosoc's workforce by 32% to 136.

In a strategic report accompanying its 2016 results, Novosco said its acquisition of security specialist NetDef represented a "great complement" to its work.

Novosco sums up its services as "managed cloud connectivity, security and infrastructure services" to mid-market and public sector organisations.

Managed services continued to expand in 2016 with contracts of £4m, the strategic report said.

"Our operating activities are strongly cash generative," it added.

The report said the firm had invested heavily in the infrastructure of the business with a spend of £825,000.

"We moved into our new head office space in the autumn, doubling our facilities and providing a world-class workplace for our people," it said.

Founder and chief executive Patrick McAliskey also told the Belfast Telegraph that new acquisition NetDef was now fully integrated into Novosco.

"It specialises in cyber security and includes police forces and global hedge funds, as well as Premier League football clubs, among its clients - that gives us greater capability and a greater reach of geographical areas," he said.

And he said the company's two biggest markets - NHS bodies and housing associations - would benefit from the new know-how in security, as would its corporate clients.

The firm numbers around 40 of Northern Ireland's top 100 companies among its client base.

He said the company was targeting sales of £27m for the present year and continued to keep "an open mind" about further acquisitions.

As well as acquiring NetDef last year, it acquired Cloudstream in 2009.

Mr McAliskey said Novosco was also working hard to attract and retain talent.

And he added the firm was also considering an apprenticeship scheme and was recruiting among graduates.

Belfast Telegraph

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