Edinburgh's Commsworld takes on big boys as profits and client base swell

Commsworld, the Edinburgh-headquartered telecoms provider, has banked a sharp rise in profits as its public and private sector client base continues to grow.

The firm said it was establishing itself as a “viable alternative” to the larger providers as it reported a near 60 per cent rise in gross profit over the past 12 months to £7.5 million. It posted a 20 per cent increase in turnover to £24.1m, while adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) came in at £3.8m, up from £2m.

Chief executive Steve Langmead hailed the latest results, saying the company had ridden the upheaval of the pandemic over the past couple of years and continued to grow its core enterprise business and expand its customer service base during 2021. He also paid tribute to the hard work of the staff, whose efforts helped secure a new £20m-plus framework agreement for digital connectivity services with North Lanarkshire Council at the beginning of this year. The agreement stands alongside other long-term contracts which include Glasgow City Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Borders Council, making the firm a significant provider for the public sector north of the Border.

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Langmead added: “Our people play a key part in delivering a world-class service to our customers. This contract along with other similar opportunities being pursued can enable significant growth in the years ahead for the group.”

Commsworld, which was founded in 1994, also has offices in Glasgow and Aberdeen, with more than 100 staff operating across public and private sector contracts. Langmead said the company was maintaining its reputation in providing “excellent service and continuity” to its growing private customer base. This has seen the firm provide ultra-fast network connectivity to the £1 billion St James Quarter retail and leisure development in Edinburgh and team up with Halo Kilmarnock in a partnership that sees it provide communication services for the Halo Enterprise and Innovation Centre (HEIC).

The group said it continued to develop partnerships with companies such as Netomnia and Neos Networks to give businesses and organisations in underserved areas “significantly enhanced broadband connectivity, bandwidth and resilience”.

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Langmead added: “This partnership success has been built thanks to our nationwide ultra-fast optical core network, which allows us to deliver transformative connectivity to areas the length and breadth of Britain. Through the network, in which we invested up to £10m, we can connect these areas to speeds of up to 10 gigabits now, and with scalability of up to 100G. By building capacity for the future we are transforming rural areas, villages, towns and cities right across the country.”

Last year, Commsworld said it had taken steps to increase its employee ownership of the business by launching a staff shares scheme. The setting up of an enterprise management incentive scheme will give employees the right to acquire share options from a pool set aside by the company for workers. Bosses said they hoped that staff would grasp the opportunity to have their own stake in the business they work for.

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Commsworld chief executive Steve Langmead hailed the latest results.