Raft's David Priestly quits Financial Objects

Raft's David Priestly quits Financial Objects

UK banking systems vendor Financial Objects says David Priestly, the previous chief executive and chairman of its recently acquired Raft business, is leaving the company.

Financial Objects agreed a takeover deal with risk software firm Raft International in January and the acquisition has now been completed.

In a short statement, Financial Objects says Priestly - who co-founded Raft in 1995 - will be stepping down from the board and leaving the company in the near future. No reason is given for his departure.

The vendor has appointed Peter Youngs to the board as finance director. Youngs is a former group finance director of Body Shop International.

The boardroom news comes as Financial Objects reports a 46% rise in full-year revenue to £13.9m (2004: £9.5m) and operating profit - before exceptional items and goodwill amortisation - of £1.0m, up from £0.1m in 2004. But the group also recorded a pre-tax loss of £0.2m.

THe vendor says revenue at its Activebank division increased to £5.9m (2004: £3.3m). Excluding the acquisition of Wealth Management Software (WMS) last year, underlying revenue at the unit rose 42% to £4.7m, driven by an increase in the base of installed systems. But turnover at its Ibis division fell to £5.7m (2004: £6.2m), although the firm says operating margins improved and the unit currently has a stronger sales pipeline than in previous years.

Overall, Roger Foster, chairman, Financial Objects says the ongoing level of sales activity across all product divisions "is greater than in any recent year".

"It is the combination of these factors, along with the improvement in general market conditions, which gives us optimism for the future of the group," he says.

Financial Object shares were up seven per cent to 45.50 pence by mid-morning.

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