Since Ian Bowles took the reigns as chief executive of AIM listed Allocate Software (LON:ALL) in May 2007, the company has delivered record trading figures every year. Last week it was a familiar story, with Allocate – known until last summer as Manpower Software – posting a 39% rise in annual sales to £22.0m and a 38% increase in trading profits to £3.49m. The figures followed a year that saw the company pull off two acquisitions and notch up a string of contract wins both at home and abroad. 

Allocate has flourished by selling workforce management, training and rostering software to clients predominantly in the health, defence, maritime and government markets. Last December, the company acquired Time Care in Sweden in a move to expand its geographical focus and in May this year purchased Dynamic Change in the UK in a deal that expanded its product portfolio.

On announcing the company’s full year results, Ian Bowles spoke to Stockopedia about how the company has prospered during the economic downturn and its plans for further expansion.

 

Ian, Allocate Software has been breaking performance records for the last four years. Have you simply not been affected the economic downturn?

I’ve been asked that question quite a few times over the last two or three years. Yes we have, we might have expected to grow a little bit quicker than we have. But in reality, we haven’t seen any negative impact. Some of our maritime clients were severely impacted by the downturn, particularly in the general shipping market where goods just weren’t being manufactured and shipped and, therefore, the ships were being put into dry dock and laid up by the maritime businesses. Fortunately for us maritime is a relatively small piece of our business, accounting for less than 10% of our overall group revenues. 

So I can’t say that we haven’t been impacted but our growth and performance in healthcare and in defence has more than countered any softening that we may have expected to have seen in the maritime sector.

Tell us about your software and why it fits well with these sectors?

Our software manages a substantive and temporary workforce of our client base. In healthcare in particular that, historically, has been a very difficult area for the NHS to get to grips with and a…

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