Tracsis celebrates new head office move as it outlines growth plans

Tracsis chief executive John McArthur
Tracsis chief executive John McArthur
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Transport software firm Tracsis said its move to new offices in Leeds has been a big success as it embarks on future growth and expansion.

Last month the group relocated its Leeds headquarters to larger, more modern offices that it said are far better suited to accommodate its expanding team and future growth ambitions.

Chief executive John McArthur said: “I’m super-chuffed with the new offices at the Nexus Building on Woodhouse Lane.

“It’s a big, shiny, glass building right on the edge of the university campus. It’s owned by the university. The idea is to blend businesses with the university’s intellectual property.

“The plan is that half of the building will be tech companies, or science companies, but it’s also got lab space and research facilities. It’s a brilliant building.”

Tracsis now employs more than 600 people.

The firm said its second half should be stronger given the seasonality of the business and the contribution from new acquisitions after reporting an uptick in revenue in its first half.

During the first half the group, which believes its transport software can help solve the problems of train delays, over-crowding and derailments, won its biggest ever software contract. It won a five-year framework agreement with a major train owner for its TRACS Enterprise product. Tracsis is not allowed to disclose the client.

“It’s for our cloud-based product, our flagship product within our rail division,” said Mr McArthur.

“It does all of the pre, on the day and post-planning for a railway operation. It’s everything from your stock and your crew right through to getting people paid.

“It’s to do with how they handle their network during times of disruption - if there’s a delay or something happens. It’s the system they use to manage that delay.”

The group made two acquisitions in the first half, Compass and CTM, and said the benefit of these deals will be felt in the second half. It said the integration of both businesses is well underway.

“We are looking at more acquisitions. You won’t see any of the contribution in our numbers because the period end was January. We’ll get a big impact in the second half and our full year next year,” said Mr McArthur.

The group said revenue rose £700,000 to £18.8m in the six months to January 31 and pre-tax profits fell £300,000 to £2.1m, although these figures would have been higher if it hadn’t had to change its accounting rules in line with IFRS 15. It will increase the interim dividend by 14 per cent to 0.8p per share.

Mr McArthur said: “I’m not bothered about profitability in the first half being slightly down because there was an awful lot of work going on in the background to which we’ll see the benefit in the second half.”

Tracsis said its software sales benefited from high renewal rates for existing products. The group has invested heavily in its technology base at a cost of £500,000 in the first half and said the benefits will be seen in the second half and beyond.

Chris Barnes, CEO designate, joined Tracsis in February and the group said the transition process from Mr McArthur is well underway and proceeding to plan. Mr Barnes will take over as CEO on May 1.

Mr McArthur will continue to work with Tracsis in a part-time advisory capacity with a remit of advising and assisting on further M&A.

Analyst Andrew Darley at FinnCap said: “John McArthur moves aside to focus on M&A. We look forward to acquisitions as well as the positive effect of incoming CEO Chris Barnes’s skill set in taking Tracsis onwards and upwards.”