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Profits soar at council mail delivery firm Document Outsourcing

A SCOTTISH company which specialises in the "day-definite" delivery of mail for local councils has boosted profits by 79 per cent in its latest financial year.

Bellshill-based Document Outsourcing has posted pre-tax profits of £410,058 for the year ended March 31, driven by contracts to distribute communications such as bills for council tax and non-domestic rates.

Turnover at the business, which has about 50 of its 81 staff in Scotland, edged up by 14.5 per cent to £12.8 million.

Managing director Neil McCallum said: "Our customers are looking for certainty, particularly when they are delivering council taxes and non-domestic rates for businesses.

"The fact we can control the full end to end process, and we can control what day the phones are going to ring so they can man call centres, is a unique selling point."

The company provides its day definite solution to 60 per cent of Scotland's local authorities, and is eyeing further growth south of the Border, where there are 390 councils compared with the 32 here. The firm opened a production site in Warrington in late 2010 and has since added sales offices in Newcastle, Cardiff, Birmingham and, most recently London.

Mr McCallum said there remains a demand from councils for physical communications to be sent because they often do not have direct, secure email addresses for tax payers. Letters are also needed because bills are often joint in nature, he said.

Mr McCallum added: "And it is the whole Information Commissioner's piece as well of, how do you ensure that you are sending a piece of communication to someone, and it is only that one it is going to.

"Quite often people have municipal e-mail boxes, or shared mail boxes. It's a very secure method for sending important communications."

The company, formed in 2006, also generates work from the financial services sector, notably on behalf of debt companies which require a response to their communications.

Majority owned by its management team, and backed by investment group Archangel, it is investing £500,000 in new equipment to cope with rising demand for its services.

That investment has focused on new kit and the development of proprietary software. It is also in the process of transfering to a full colour system, a move Mr McCallum said will give low-volume customers access to a "full-colour solution at an affordable price".

Mr McCallum added that the board has also been strengthened with the arrival of Ian McKay, chairman of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Scotland, as a non-executive director. It has also hired Keith Wright from Xerox as its technical director, and a marketing director as it targets growth in markets such as health.

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