Maxima has sold off three software-focused divisions in a bid to reduce debt levels and return profitability, as half-year results showed a decline in sales and widening losses.
For the six months to 30 November 2011, the integrator saw revenue decline 9.3 per cent year on year to £21.5m. Pre-tax losses stood at about £600,000, compared with a loss of about £40,000 in the preceding year. Net debt levels as of the end of the six-month period stood at £9.9m, but have since been cut to £4.2m, following the disposal of a trio of units this week.
Calyx-owned software outfit m-hance has agreed a £6.8m deal to acquire Maxima's document management and Microsoft units, as well as its Intellect construction accounting software arm. The three divisions employ a total of 69 people and posted combined turnover of £7.2m in their most recently completed fiscal year.
A stock market statement yesterday from Maxima claims the money it has made from the sales will be "used largely to pay down debt and, in part, to fund rationalisation of central overheads".
Last summer Maxima announced it was being courted by a mystery suitor. However, little more than a month later the firm removed the For Sale sign after concluding that the time was not right to sell up, despite entertaining "various potential offers".
Shortly afterwards channel veteran Ian Smith joined the firm's boardroom set-up as a non-executive director. A month later Smith acquired a minority share in the business and stepped up to a role as executive chairman, after management duo Graham Kingsmill and Kelvin Harrison vacated their posts.
Maxima also announced at this time that it had concluded a strategic review of the business and had decided to offload its non-core units. First out the exit door was its enterprise resource planning business, which was sold to K3 Retail for £1.4m shortly before Christmas.
"The effect of recent disposals has been to significantly downsize [our] Business Solutions division," said Smith. "The core of the company is now based around the delivery of managed services to our customers.
"This marketplace is experiencing good growth and has been the focus of attention for numerous acquisitions, particularly by private equity, indicating the attractiveness of the recurring revenue base."
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