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M&A and public sector on agenda as Trustmarque aims higher

Alex Scroxton

Infrastructure and software VAR Trustmarque has revealed it may look to make larger acquisitions, potentially of similar sized businesses to itself, as it aims to build on the most successful 12 months in its 24 year history.

Trustmarque bought Nimbus Technology Systems last May in a strategic move to bolster its cloud services credentials. CEO Scott Haddow told MicroScope that this had been a "strategic acquisition that was more about access to skills, resources and IP."

He added: "It was at the smaller end of the scale, and if we were to do another one it would be at least the size of Trustmarque."

Group sales and marketing director Angelo Di Ventura stressed, however, that the firm would not buy anybody because "we felt we had to" and would only look for broadly complementary targets.

Looking back on 2011, a bullish Trustmarque revealed a 35% pre-tax profit hike, while gross profits rose 26%. Turnover grew from £107m to £115m, with the firm's services business sales up nearly threefold from £7.1m to £19.6m.

"We are probably most proud of our services business. It's gone from a standing start two years ago to a pretty strong business," said Haddow. "In a tough market that everyone sees declining we were very pleased."

However, despite this success Trustmarque will continue to focus a good amount of its resource on the public sector, saying that now the government's spending strategy had been laid down a clearer picture of where to invest, and in what type of project, was beginning to emerge.

"Our twin propositions of taking out costs and increasing efficiency have proved very effective in the public sector," said Di Ventura.

"Although we have refocused on the commercial business, the public sector is still growing and shouldn't be discounted," he added.


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