Servelec to splash out on software that protects children

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Shares in software firm Servelec jumped five per cent after it reported strong trading in 2015 and announced plans to spend £20m on a software firm that helps local authorities safeguard vulnerable children.

Sheffield-based Servelec said revenue jumped 22 per cent to £63m in 2015 and the firm announced a number of contract wins worth up to £10m.

Underlying operating profit rose 32 per cent to £16.1m.

Shareholders welcomed the news that the group has conditionally agreed to buy the Synergy business from Tribal Education, which will fit in with Servelec’s commitment to the converged care agenda. This is a Government-supported scheme to share data across healthcare and social care settings.

When it comes to children this could mean detecting youngsters who are in danger yet who could be missed by the system.

Servelec’s CEO Alan Stubbs said: “If a child becomes a troubled child, they are handed over to social services. There there have been lots of gaps because social services are different to children’s services.

“Six per cent of children have issues and they’re handed into social care.

“We look at the 10 per cent behind them who have issues that aren’t being handled correctly. This will save local authorities a lot of money.”

Synergy provides a suite of software products that help local authorities manage critical information within children’s services.

The company’s shares rose 17p to 335p.