NCC Group posts higher revenues as it fights cyber crime

Information security company NCC Group posted higher revenues Thursday as a rise in cyber crime called for safer online practices in businesses.

Information security company NCC Group posted higher revenues Thursday as a rise in cyber crime called for safer online practices in businesses.

The company, which provides software escrow and online protection services, reported a 13% increase in group revenues to £48.1m for the six months to November 30th, 2012.

Group adjusted pre-tax profits increased 6.0% to £10.9m, up from 10.3m in 2011.

Interim dividend climbed 15% to 0.98p compared to 0.85p in the previous year.

Chief Executive Officer Rob Cotton said the demand for tighter online security, particularly in the financial sector, drove revenues higher.

"Assurance has made particularly strong progress as international information security markets continued to show double digit growth," he said in an interview with Sharecast and Digitallook.

He also pointed out a strong market in smartphone and tablet devices which he said accounted for 13% of online traffic.

The company is currently developing new ways to target mobile technologies in protecting sites from hackers.

"We're looking at ways of making the internet safer for businesses," he said.

The British government recently warned of an increase in money stolen through cyber crime as a lack of businesses had sufficient IT protection systems in place.

"I totally agree," Cotton said.

"Companies need to protect themselves from cyber crime whether that be in retail, insurance, finance, government or non-government."

He explained the company experienced particular growth in the US following two acquisitions in New York including security testing service Matasano Security and mobile application and device security company Intrepidus.

The biggest challenge for the company during the period was a shortage in the workforce.

Cotton said security testers with the right skills set were hard to come by, so they will be recruiting graduates and training them in the field.

"We are looking for someone who has the right mind set to which it comes naturally for them. Someone who goes home and is still on the internet," he said.

Cotton said the company would focus on employment this year and expects growth to continue in business.

"Despite the difficult trade market we've had a good run and positive reviews," Cotton said.

Shares jumped 6.74% to 13.50p at 13:44 Thursday.

RD

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