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Software group Axios Systems bounces back into profit

Edinburgh-based software and IT group Axios Systems bounced back into profit with a £2.5 million turnaround last year, according to accounts just lodged at Companies House.

The 26-year-old business owned by Tasos Symeonides and wife Ailsa, whose blue-chip clients include Kingfisher, Arcadia Group and Aviva, had fallen to an £796,000 loss in 2012, after profits of £2.1m and £730,000 in the previous two years, with sales slipping from £20.2m to £18.6m.

But the 2013 accounts show a sharp recovery in turnover to £21.4m, and a pre-tax profit of £1.63m.

Employee numbers grew from 160 to 179, and the directors say a further 13 posts have been created since the year-end six months ago.

"Looking forward to 2014 and 2015, we expect total revenues to grow significantly in line with our continued investment in new products," the company's directors say.

After a £1.5m dividend was paid to the husband and wife owners in 2012, there was no pay-out last year, while the highest-paid director again received £240,000.

Axios has operations in Germany, US, Australia, Russia and Dubai, and it was the international business which drove the recovery.

Sales in the UK rose 8% to £9.1m, while overseas turnover grew by almost 20% to £12.3m.

At the pre-tax level, the UK moved from a £459,000 loss to a £262,000 profit, while international margins soared as the £337,000 loss in 2012 swung to a £1.37m profit.

The debt-free company reached the September 30 year end with £4.49m in cash (£4.66m) and shareholder funds up almost 50% at £3.6m. The business still has £3.89m of unused tax losses.

The directors again cite "years of prudence in cash management" as the driver for a "debt-free, innovative and entrepreneurial group that can move decisively to exploit opportunities within its market sector".

During the year Axios bought services worth £2.35m from SCS FZC, a company controlled by Mr and Mrs Symeonides.

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