iomart revenue at £76.3m amid cloud data push

Glasgow-based cloud computing firm iomart group said its revenue grew 16% to £76.3 million in the year to March 31 and adjusted profit before tax rose 14% to £19 million as the firm positioned itself to benefit from the exponential jump in data moving to the cloud.

iomart chief executive Angus MacSween said the market for cloud services continued to grow and evolve and that trading since the year end remained good and in line with market expectations.

“The long term opportunity is bigger than ever,” said MacSween.

The chief executive said more and more applications and workloads were moving to the cloud, data volumes were growing exponentially, and the emergence of the Internet of Things was creating ever more data.

He said that alongside this, a new generation of users now expected everything to be delivered to them through their mobile device of choice.

“This means an ever growing complexity in the choices and permutations available when forming an IT policy for cloud and we believe that this will drive opportunity for those companies, such as iomart, who are agile and have the correct skillsets for success,” said MacSween.

“All businesses are now digital businesses to a greater or lesser extent. They are confronted by an increasingly complex set of cloud decisions in terms of cost, value, effectiveness, complexity, security, data protection and compliance.”

MacSween said the new legal requirements around data, particularly the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are going to have an impact on all organisations. 

“They will introduce significant new rules and compliance obligations for all organisations around data protection in the cloud with global implications and we believe will drive further opportunity for iomart in helping organisations become compliant and secure. 

“The traditional way of moving to the cloud, being a private or hybrid approach, is here for the foreseeable future and the long term recurring revenue opportunity for iomart remains compelling. 

“We are well established as a major player in providing the flexible cloud solutions that businesses require, whether that be the private cloud, public or hybrid cloud spheres.

“There is a large market opportunity in preparing and managing enterprises for transformation to cloud.”

Chairman Ian Ritchie said iomart’s recent acquisitions SystemsUp and United Hosting were performing well. 

“We have also benefited from the full year contribution from ServerSpace which we acquired in December 2014,” said Ritchie.

“We believe there will be other opportunities to allow us to continue to add to our organic growth through acquisition.”

Ritchie said iomart had adopted “a progressive dividend policy with the intention of moving over time to a pay-out ratio of 25% of our adjusted diluted earnings per share.”

“Last year we paid a final dividend of 2.5p per share equivalent to a pay-out ratio of 19.8% of adjusted diluted earnings per share. 

“This year the board is proposing to pay a final dividend of 3.15p per share on 30 August 2016 to shareholders on the register on 12 August 2016, based on an ex-dividend date of 11 August 2016, representing an increase of 26% over the dividend last year and equivalent to a pay-out ratio of 22% of adjusted diluted earnings per share. 

“We continue to offer shareholders the option to participate in a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) as an alternative to receiving cash. Details of the DRIP scheme will be distributed with the annual accounts in due course. 

“We have started the new financial year in a strong position and I look forward to another exciting year of growth with considerable confidence.”