Powerlan plans for bullish growth

Powerlan plans for bullish growth

Reseller turned software vendor, Powerlan, expects to more than quadruple its business over the next three years.

The forecasts from CEO, Dr Tomislav Matic, came as the company raised $3.15 million this month by issuing 70 million ordinary shares to institutional and private investors at $0.045 a share.

"The proceeds will be used as working capital to fund substantial projected growth across all Powerlan division, taking advantage of improving market conditions, and to help ride through cash flow troughs that still occur from time to time due to the lumpy nature of revenues in some divisions," the company said in an Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) announcement.

Powerlan has endured a bumpy ride in recent years, facing reported Stock Exchange investigations of alleged "irregular" sharetrading, disputes with creditors and being down to its last million in financial reserves.

Major restructuring also saw the business offload many divisions after the company lost $142.4 million in 2001-02.

Powerlan has now issued financial projections claiming annual revenues will increase from $30.33m in 2003-04 to $130.50m in 2006-07, growing 65 per cent that year.

Matic stood by his figures, stressing the totals were based on figures given by the heads of Powerlan's individual companies - Clarity, IMX, Garradin, Financial BPO, Convertor Technology, Zento and BI.

"Each business has its own people," he said. "They buy, they sell, they have their own management reports. Figures are revised and we question them as you question me. The whole [Powerlan] picture is a collection of these little pieces."

Powerlan prepared its figures for a conference of potential IT investors last week and then gave them to the ASX "for everyone to see," Matic said. "We are just saying this is what we are doing. Every six and 12 months we will be publishing results."

Noting previous brushes with the ASX, Matic said the company now published monthly cashflow figures and it now had $4 million in cash reserves after raising $3 million this week.

"Over the last two years we have survived on cashflow," he said. "There has been no investment."

Matic also expects further cash reserves improvement. The company expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation of $4.62 million this year and $15.15 million next year, rising to $59.85 million in 2007.

Matic reports its fastest growing division, Financial BPO, has won business in Melbourne doing back office administrative functions for STL Trustees in Victoria, on top of a three-year $12 million contract with OFM Investment Group.

This division expects to earn $8 million this year and to double in size each successive year.

IMX last month also announced a $1.34 million contract to supply financial software to the Royal Bank of Scotland. IMX alone expects 300 per cent growth, from annual revenues of $7 million for its travel money and foreign exchange software.

Converter Technology, which converts old versions of Microsoft Office to newer ones, and is used by Microsoft itself, is also expected to see similar growth - $1.65 million this year, rising to $6 million next year and doubling annually thereafter.

"Revenues are lumpy but will straighten out as customer numbers [already in their 'hundreds'] increase," Matic said.

Powerlan had no new products or services planned, or any new takeovers, unless something appropriate came along, he said.

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