WebCentral records strong growth

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WebCentral Group has announced 16 percent revenue growth on the back of its managed hosting business in the full year to 30 June 2005.

WebCentral Group has announced 16 percent revenue growth on the back of its managed hosting business in the full year to 30 June 2005.

Andrew Spicer, chief executive at WebCentral, said consolidation of the group post-acquisition of the remaining half of WebCentral about a year ago had meant the sums had been done differently this year.

Total revenue was up $45 million from $13.4 million a year ago -- but that was due to cancellation of equity accounting measures, he said.

Even so, WebCentral had recorded a real 16 percent boost to revenue based on actual business activity. That division accounted for 75 percent of the company's revenue, Spicer said.

"We're very pleased with it," he said. "I guess we expected it to be around about this. Our forecast was pretty reasonable."

The actual growth had been across all WebCentral divisions including wholesale and digital recording division FTR, with managed hosting by WebCentral Pty Ltd playing an important role, he said.

Managed hosting had netted $43.1 million for the 2004-05 tax year -- 17 percent up on last year's results. That contributed strongly to a net profit of $5 million, 219 percent up on last year, WebCentral reported.

Spicer added that Application Service Provision was flourishing and WebCentral -- sometimes described as an incognito ASP itself -- was signing numerous ASPs as partners.

"Centralised hosting and so forth is really coming into vogue," he said.

The group’s cash position was being managed at $3.5 million, compared with $8.3 million for the previous year. Some $6 million in debt was retired in the 2004-05 financial year, reducing total debt to $5 million, WebCentral said.

Spicer said WebCentral was set up well for the coming year. "We're investing in our datacentre capability," he said. "It'll be more of the same, but with lots of it going on."

WebCentral was investing more in its ASP line and would also launch a BlackBerry front end for its managed Exchange offering -- a relatively new service that was already proving itself, Spicer added.

The company had also had "great success" with its managed SQL product, he said.

Meanwhile, FTR expanded its product suite with a minute-taking and distribution product, FTR MinuteMaker, that had been selling well for the past year. WebCentral has also opened a London, UK, sales office to focus on FTR's expansion in Europe, Spicer said.
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