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Robotic process designer continues hot streak
Thursday 02 Mar 2017 Author: Steven Frazer

Fast-growing workforce automation specialist Blue Prism (PRSM:AIM) already expects to comfortably beat 2017 forecasts.

The current year to 31 October 2017 has got off to a flying start with 83 new software deals signed and sealed, including 49 with entirely new clients, and 34 existing customers extending their previous agreements.

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‘To put these figures in perspective, Blue Prism sold 96 new robotic process automation (RPA) licences last year and had 81 upsells – which were to 47 customers,’ explains John O’Brien, an analyst at technology business website TechMarketViews.

Blue Prism management highlights ‘strong momentum’ experienced in 2016 has continued into the current financial year. Backed by a ‘strong pipeline’ of potential new work, the Merseyside-based business has now told investors that revenues this year will be ‘materially ahead of existing market expectations’.

Sales estimates from Investec had been pitched at £14.1m for the 12 months to 31 October 2017. The investment bank has since upped its revenue expectations for both this year and next by around 17% and 14% respectively. That implies turnover of £16.5m rising to £19.7m in 2018.

Investec’s operating loss expectations remain unchanged for both years at £8.1m and £5.7m respectively, as Blue Prism continues hefty investment in sales and marketing in its dash for growth.

Automating the mundane

RPA software works by mimicking computer keyboard inputs a human would perform on an application user interface (UI) to perform routine rule-based clerical administration tasks. Not only does this improve input accuracy and speed, it also helps customer organisations reduce running costs by freeing the human workforce to concentrate on other valued-added tasks.

The key to this year’s fast start is Blue Prism’s extensive channel partner network of IT-based consultancies and infrastructure groups that resell the platform. Partners include many blue-chip global organisations such as Accenture, Deloitte, Capgemini, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM. All of Blue Prism’s 83 first quarter licences came through this route.

Blue Prism landed on AIM on 18 March 2016, raising a total of £21.1 million at 78p per share, although £11.1 million of that went to selling founders and shareholders. That gave the business a market capitalisation of £48.5 million but its value has since soared. The shares are currently changing hands for 473.5p, slapping a £295m price tag on the company.

A true industry disruptor. Buy at 473.5p.

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