Belfast Telegraph

NI-based IT firm opens office in Spain in bid to retain staff after Brexit

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland IT firm Neueda has opened an office in Spain to help it retain talent following Brexit, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The firm has experienced growth in annual turnover of around 30% in recent years - and founder Brendan Monaghan said it expected to achieve sales of £21m in the year ahead.

But he said the firm's concerns over the impact of Brexit on recruitment from EU member states had led it to open an office in Malaga, Spain.

It makes a range of software products for clients including government and utilities - and among work for government departments in Northern Ireland, it has produced software enabling farmers to buy and sell quotas more quickly.

It comes as the firm's latest accounts show a 50% increase in turnover to £15m in the year to the end of March 2017. The company, which was founded by Mr Monaghan in 2006 and is based at Weaver's Court in south Belfast, also increased pre-tax profits from £1.2m to £2m.

In a strategic report with the results, Neueda said the firm had enjoyed "strong financial performance across its core sectors of government, utilities, and capital markets".

Mr Monaghan told the Belfast Telegraph: "We have had pretty strong growth in all our markets but particularly in capital markets and investment banking, where there are regulatory projects that are driving requirements from our customer base."

And he said he summed up the firm's work as helping customers "enter the digital age".

He said growth in turnover had been strong, and was expected to continue to expand. "This year turnover is expected to be £21m and with a bit of luck we will continue that trajectory into 2018/19."

Mr Monaghan said the firm was preparing for Brexit and that its uppermost concern had been retaining its EU workers, a large number of whom were Spanish.

It had recently opened an office in Spain in a bid to retain its workforce from that country.

"We have had a big relationship with Spain as a source of talent, but we had discovered that a number of staff had returned to Spain. That made us very nervous."

It has 120 employees, though it uses another 110 associates and contractors, Mr Monaghan said.

In June this year, Neueda announced plans to invest £12m in 165 new roles and in the development of its existing software engineers, IT consultants and data analysts.

Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of economic development agency Invest NI, which supported the expansion with £1.9m in funding, said: "Talent is at the core of Neueda's business model, so enhancing the skills and expertise of its workforce is vital to fuelling the company's development."

Mr Monaghan is a finalist in business advisory firm EY's Entrepreneur of the Year competition in Ireland. The final takes place on October 26.

Belfast Telegraph