Azlan has returned to profitability after a turbulent year battlings two-year ambition. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigations as it recorded pre-tax profit of £5.5 million and turnover of £343 million for the year ended 31 March.
Earlier this year, the SFO ceased investigations into Azlan over suspected offences of false accounting relating to its financial year 1997 results, because of insufficient evidence (PC Dealer, 20 January).
Azlan's product business drove its growth, with the division yielding a 20 per cent increase in turnover to £293 million and a gross margin of 13.9 per cent.
Peter Bertram, chief executive of Azlan, told PC Dealer: 'We thought it was a good set of results. The focus for the past two years has been on getting the product business back to profitability. We did that by reducing the number of vendors in our portfolio, then focusing on those relationships.'
Azlan Training increased its turnover by eight per cent to £40.8 million in fiscal 1999, down from the 76 per cent growth it recorded last year.
The services division also suffered, with revenue stagnating at £9.3 million.
Gross margins for the two divisions also fell.
Bertram described the training division's growth as 'satisfactory', but acknowledged Azlan 'would have liked it to be more'. He added: 'Because our focus was on product business, we didn't expand the training and services businesses as we wish we had.'
'Now the product business is back to profitability, we can concentrate more on training and services.'
Azlan also announced it had negotiated a three-year, £30 million syndicated bank facility, which Bertram said would be used for working capital to fund internal and external expansion.
'We will pursue selective acquisitions should they be come available,' he added.
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