By Mark Williamson

BEEKS Financial Cloud has said it is in the market for more strategic acquisitions after achieving strong growth in the latest financial year against a challenging backdrop.

The financial technology firm provides systems that customers can use to speed up online trading in financial products and also operates data centres close to leading exchanges.

Markets have been volatile amid the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.

Beeks said sales cycles had been extended in the second half of the latest year, amid delays in corporate decision making.

READ MORE: Glasgow fintech grows employee numbers amid market volatility

However, chief executive Gordon McArthur said the company is confident its growing sales pipeline reflects increased interest in its technology.

The company has mounted a push to win work from financial institutions it thinks could use its cloud-based systems to cut the costs of their IT operations.

Beeks has been pleased by the results of the acquisition of London-based Velocimetrics in April, for up to £4.55m.

Velocimetrics developed software that can be used to monitor transactions that are in progress and for the production of performance analysis.

Beeks said its enhanced product range and growing number of Tier 1 customers had helped put the firm in a strong position.

It noted the potential to benefit from the growth in the market for automated trading, the continued adoption of Cloud computing by financial services organisations and the opportunity for accelerated growth through corporate acquisitions in a fragmented market place.

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Beeks said it was interested in buying businesses that are profitable and would allow the company to broaden its offering.

Signalling confidence, Beeks proposed a final dividend of 0.15p per share, to maintain the full year total at 0.35p.

Some firms have faced calls to curb dividends in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Chairman Mark Cubitt noted Beeks was generating cash from its operations and had recurring revenues and limited debts.

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He added: “Should the impact of Covid-19 increase in the year ahead, the Board will keep the level of future dividend payment under review.

“However, it should be noted the Group has not, to date, utilised any of the government furlough schemes and therefore believes that there is no impediment in this respect to paying a dividend to shareholders.”

Aim market-listed Beeks grew underlying profits before tax to £1.43m in the year ended June 30, up eight per cent from £1.32m last time.

Revenues rose 27%, to £9.36m, from £7.35m.

Beeks employed 42 people at its Hillington head office at the end of June, out of a group total of 65.