Oakton plots Sydney expansion

Oakton plots Sydney expansion

After 100 staff cuts over the past year, the ASX-listed service provider aims to ramp up Sydney office

IT services provider, Oakton, (ASX:OKN) has experienced a 59.2 per cent increase in net profit to $10.2 million compared to previous half-year results.

Pre-tax profit also rose by 47 per cent to $16.5m. However, revenue decreased by 4.9 per cent to $93.3m. Oakton’s higher profits but lower revenue in the first half of the financial year reflect similar reports from other ASX-listed services providers including CSG and SMS Management and Technology.

Oakton CFO, John Phillips, said the ASX-listed company was expecting the market to improve gradually and predicted its end-of-year financial year results would resemble the first half.

“The fourth quarter has previously been strong for us, particularly with the Federal Government. But there’s still uncertainty in the sector,” Phillips said.

Over the past 12 months, the company cut 98 employees from its books. The hardest hit was its Victorian branch, which suffered just over 100 staff cuts since last year.

But Phillips said it intended to hire more staff in its Sydney office.

“Sydney is going particularly well for us,” he said. “There’s not going to be a significant upswing in numbers, but it will go up gradually.”

Oakton has about 1100 staff. It recently hired Mark Fretz to head up its Victorian branch.

The company anticipates its renewed business model will continue to provide increased profits. About a year ago, Oakton conducted a complete review of the business and now has four key vendors in its line-up: Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and IBM.

“We’ve been focusing our service lines and partnership models,” Phillips said.

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