Following yesterday's story on its results, the IRIS Group has issued the following statement…

IRIS demonstrates its financial strength, positioning itself as a software supplier of choice to weather the economic downturn

With average annual growth of 76% over the past 3 years, IRIS Software – – was recently identified as one of Britain’s top performing private companies, rising to 16th position in the February 2009 Sunday Times Deloitte Buyout Track 100 League Table, with annualised profits of £40.8m

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Reporting on both these results and the Group’s 2008 results, Martin Leuw, Group Chief Executive of IRIS commented: “As a private company, we have not historically announced our results beyond filing them at Companies House. However, in the current uncertain economic environment, we feel that it is beneficial for our employees, customers, prospects, suppliers and partners to fully understand  and have confidence in the strong financial position of IRIS and the significant long term covenant free cash facilities we have in place to continue to fund not only the future development of our products, but also to make complementary strategic acquisitions.

“Our first set of statutory accounts for the 10 month period to 30 April 2008, reflects the  £500m buyout and merger of IRIS Software  with Computer Software Group plc which we completed on 3rd July 2007 and was backed by Hellman & Friedman, now a majority shareholder,  one of the world’s largest and most successful private investment firms with over $8 billion currently under management.

“The accounts show that for the ten month period to 30 April 2008, when you add back the amortisation of goodwill on acquisitions and one-off restructuring costs at the time of the buyout, IRIS made an Operating Profit of £32.6m, had free cash flow in excess of 100% EBITDA to comfortably service its interest payments and had cash in the bank of £20.7m. The buyout package was funded by approximately £320m of long term bank debt, repayable no earlier than 2015 and loan capital of £200m from Hellman and Friedman and other shareholders, repayable no earlier than 2017. In addition IRIS had an acquisition facility of £75m, largely undrawn, repayable no earlier than 2015, which gives us the opportunity to continue to make acquisitions. Unlike many businesses both public and private, IRIS has no financial covenants on its debt package. With approximately 60,000 customers providing a wide spread of business, an average 95% renewal rate which is one of the highest in the industry and around 65% of annual revenues underpinned by maintenance contracts”.

Now the largest privately owned software and services business in the UK, IRIS’ unique differentiator lies in the fact that it is a sector specialist with leadership positions in the markets it operates in. IRIS is:
The No 1 provider to UK accountancy practices;
The No 1 provider to UK law firms, barristers and coroners’ offices;
The No 1 provider to the UK not-for-profit sector;
The No 1 provider of payroll and accounts software to GP practices
The No 2 provider of payroll and HR software solutions, providing payslips to circa 10% of the UK workforce;
An award-winning provider of accounting and ERP systems to UK businesses;
A leading provider of specialist software for:
•    sports clubs
•    field service companies
•    IT divisions of major organisations
•    higher education and commercial training
•    architects
•    engineers