TOPpick: Improved trading and an acquisitive major shareholder mean that Bond International Software is looking ripe for a takeover. Bond Adapt is a leading product for recruiters globally
At the close of 2013, Bond comprised three divisions: recruitment software (50% of revenues), outsourcing services (35%) and HR & payroll software (15%). Recent results confirmed that Bond’s markets are improving worldwide. The presence of acquisitive investors Constellation Software on the shareholder register with 21% (plus another 10% set to acquire voting status in 2015), along with a Chief Executive aged 62 possessing a 15% stake suggests that ownership change may not be far off.
recruitment software sales moved to a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) model Before the global financial crisis, Bond was one of those exciting AIM technology companies characterised by five successive years of sales growth. www.aimprospector.co.uk
The company was predominantly a recruitment software business, with sales being made on a licensing plus maintenance (capital sales) basis. Today, the group also includes an outsourcing division (comprising Strictly Education and Bond Payroll Services) recently enlarged by the acquisition of Eurowage, and an HR and payroll software division. Strictly Education is an outsourced education services firm. Bond Payroll Services delivers outsourced payroll solutions for SMEs wishing to completely, or partly, outsource the management of their payroll function. Eurowage transforms Bond’s outsourced payroll offering, catapulting it into becoming an international force. When the recent economic disaster unfolded, Bond began to transform into a rather different company. Its
traditional recruitment software sales moved to a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) model. High growth from the recently acquired Strictly Education business and a surge in the payroll bureau business due to the shift to HMRC’s RTI significantly altered the sales and profit mix at the company. For 2013, Bond’s outsourcing division reported sales of £12m — almost four times the amount delivered in 2009. Strictly Education alone accounted for 81% of the division’s revenues in 2013 — over 27% of group sales. The move to SaaS, along with economic decline, significantly slowed revenue growth in the traditional software business. In the four years to 2013, sales of both recruitment software and HR & payroll software declined. A fall in sales is often immensely damaging for software
Published on Apr 29, 2014