CLOUD computing specialist Iomart has highlighted its international ambitions while posting strong rises in half-year profit and turnover.

The Glasgow business also unveiled the acquisition of London-based ServerSpace in a deal worth up to £4.25 million.

Turnover in the six months to September 30 rose 28 per cent from £24.6m to £31.5m with pre-tax profits up close to 26 per cent from £4.37m to £5.5m

Chief executive Angus MacSween said the financial performance showed the company had not been distracted during the period when Host Europe was pursuing a deal.

Iomart confirmed it has set up data centres on the east and west coasts of the United States in recent months and established a physical presence in the Far East.

While the company has always done some "ad hoc" work in the US on behalf of clients Mr MacSween said the latest investment gives the business something to build on.

The move came through its partnership with New York Stock Exchange listed cloud provider EMC.

Iomart then got involved in helping to run cloud and back-up data services for a US wholesaling business.

Mr MacSween said: "We have been helping them for a while and then said we would take over the customer relationships and build on them.

"We have bought some of the assets with those platforms and taken on some data centre space on the east and west coast.

"At the moment it is a bit suck it and see. The back-up side is going quite well and existing customers have ordered more for us.

"We are being quite careful. A lot of companies think you can land in the US and it will just go swimmingly for you but it is a very competitive market."

The monitoring work for clients in the US is being done from Iomart's network operations centre in Glasgow.

Mr MacSween admitted the venture in the US as well as tentative steps in the Far East are a marker of a growing international outlook the company has.

He said: "An organisation tends to like to look in the mirror and see an organisation that looks a bit like themselves.

"So if you have an international presence you want a company that understands international [markets] and understands that. We can tick that box now."

The ServerSpace deal will cost £2.6m upfront with a further £1.65m payable if certain targets are hit prior to September next year.

Mr MacSween said: "It is primarily customers and revenue we are buying.

"They are only about half a mile away from us in London and have known the guys for a while. They have a good customer base and it is a very good fit for us. It gets rid of another competitor as well so it all helps."

Mr MacSween said the Iomart workforce had remained committed even during talks with Host Europe, which is backed by private equity company Cinven, over a proposed £300m takeover.

His own plan was always to stay with the company.

He said: "The reality of the Cinven thing was there was no intention of me exiting Iomart. It was about me investing potentially in a different type of vehicle to take Iomart forward. The business model, we still think, is really good. It is a very profitable and cash generative business."

Mr MacSween said the current trading period had started in line with expectations and the business was continuing to work on partnerships with the likes of Microsoft, Dell and Amazon Web Services.