Investment knocks Datacraft’s annual profit

Datacraft’s local, after-tax net profit fell 37.6 percent to $972,000 for the year to 30 September 2009. However, the company says it is already reaping the rewards of investments made last year to position for post-recession recovery.

Managing director Robin Hartendorp says the January to March quarter last year was “very slow” amid the downturn. “There was a lot of paranoia and a lot of product spending stopped,” he says.

Datacraft New Zealand decided in the April to June quarter of 2009 to make a series of investments to set itself up for 2010, which hit the bottom line and “ate away profit”, says Hartendorp.

Last year it recruited 60 staff, taking total numbers to 200. Twenty-two of them were hired last August and at least five are datacentre specialists. It also invested heavily in product development in the security space and in its partnership with Cisco for the Unified Computing System, along with enhancement of its managed services capabilities. As well, the company has increased spending on staff training.

“We felt the market would come back and we wanted to be in a good position when it did,” says Hartendorp.

Datacraft’s local profit in the October to December quarter last year was equal to the profit recorded for the year to September 2009, he says.

The business’ revenue rose slightly for the 2009 financial year to reach $55,715 and Hartendorp says even a slight gain was impressive given last year’s economic climate.

He says the market is currently buoyant and this year Datacraft expects to triple the profit it achieved in the year to September 2009. The company also foresees a 25 percent year on year revenue gain, he says.

The company’s target is to reach 350 staff by 2011.

Despite speculation the company will buy Axon, Hartendorp says it has no intention of doing so. However, Datacraft will meet its growth target through organic growth and by acquisition, he says. According to Hartendorp, the company is “always looking” for firms it could acquire.

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