Raft International, a UK-based supplier of software components for financial institutions, says profits almost halved for the year as it invested in staff and software to win new business.
For the year ending October 2000, Raft booked profits before tax of £171,000, down from £388,000 in the previous year, after charges for R&D of £928,000. Turnover at £9.173 million was up 21% on 1999.
After a slow start to trading caused by Y2K lockdowns Raft says the second half has seen an average of one new name customer per month. Recent wins include Societe Generale and Danske Bank.
While the market for component solutions is still in its infancy, Raft executive chairman David Priestley points to figures from PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimating a market value of $1 billion by 2002.
"The board believes that a substantial portion of this market will be in the financial sector as these organisations have proved to be early adopters of new technology," he says. "As more components become available the vision of a financial institution being able to pick the best components from a range of vendors will become reality. I believe that as the market grows, two or three leading vendors will emerge in the financial sector displacing some of the larger off-the-shelf package vendors in the market today."
Raft has recently re-organised to provide added emphasis on sales and marketing within three divisions: investment banking, wealth management and strategy/consulting.