Jade suffers job jolt

Software high flier Jade Corporation is to lay off between 70 and 90 staff in an effort to slash its operating costs by a quarter.

Software high flier Jade Corporation is to lay off between 70 and 90 staff in an effort to slash its operating costs by a quarter.

The company's offices in Britain, Australia and the US will remain open, but founder Gil Simpson says redundancies will affect all parts of the company.

"It's right across the board I'm afraid."

He says the reason for the dramatic budget cut is a lack of sales.

"We've had no new major orders for the past eight months and we can't really go on at the rate we're going."

Simpson says decision cycles have been stretched much further than Jade anticipated and that's meant a shortfall in income for the company.

"Jade is a relatively new company, we've only been operating for around five years. We simply don't have the recurring revenue base we need from ongoing support contracts and the like to cope with these kinds of troughs."

Simpson points to the UK where several large contracts in the health sector have been delayed.

"The UK government is about to introduce a new procurement system for the national health service but that won't come into effect until next year so everything's frozen until then."

Simpson says Jade was almost at the point of signing several contracts in this one sector alone when the freeze was introduced.

"Any one of those contracts would have meant we wouldn't have to be doing this now."

Simpson says the redundancies and cost cutting won't affect product development. While plans to float Jade on the stock exchange will again be delayed, Simpson says it does make sense to eventually launch an initial public offering (IPO).

"Some contracts are so large they require a level of transparency that only comes from being a publicly listed company."

Simpson says the company has raised more private investment in the short term to deal with redundancy pay outs and the restructuring. He is confident that Jade can be rebuilt from a leaner base.

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