Tech firm targeting growth with multimillion-pound investment

Turnover increased at a Gateshead-headquartered technology company, in the year following its investment by private equity firm LDC, although profits were impacted by a number of multimillion-pound investments which are designed to drive growth.

Aspire Technology Solutions provides services across applications including cloud, connectivity, voice, technical support and cyber security, and employs a team of nearly 230 people.

The company secured a significant minority investment from LDC last March, in a transaction which valued the business at £85m.

For the period ended 28 February 2023, turnover jumped from £27.6m to £32.3m with cyber security revenue soaring by 97 per cent.

Pre-tax profit, however, decreased from £4.8m to £2.1m, while EBITDA dipped from £3.7m to £5.8m.

Adjusting for exceptional cyber security investment costs, EBITDA was at £4.2m.

Speaking in a report alongside the results, Aspire said that it “remains focused” on providing customers with technology which will “enable innovation and growth”.

To support this, the company invested £4m into its technology during the period, while a further £3.8m was injected into its people resources.

Further expansion was spearheaded with the opening of a Leeds office to better serve customers in that area.

“These investments will provide a solid foundation for future growth but in the short term have impacted margins, together with high inflation”, the report said.

Revenue is set to rise at a similar level in FY24, with margin gains also expected “as the benefit of the FY23 investment is realised”.

Rob Fraser, chief revenue officer, said: “We remain focused on our mission of putting technology to work to drive customer innovation, efficiency, and growth.”

He added: “During FY23, we achieved 17 per cent revenue growth, amounting to £32.3m, with recurring revenue showing a strong 19 per cent increase. Looking ahead to FY24, we anticipate continued growth as the benefits of our investments materialise.

“As businesses of all sizes face growing cyber threats, we expect high demand for our managed cyber security services and our in-house SOC (Security Operations Centre). Our robust security solutions, coupled with our commitment to innovation means that we are delivering some of the most advanced security technology for our customers. We are committed to protecting our customers against the constantly evolving threat landscape.”