Educational products supplier RM saw its profits for the last six months plummet compared to a year before, but said it would still be hitting its yearly total.
In its interim results for the half-year ending March 31 released yesterday, the group reported a pre-tax profit of £200,000, compared to £5.6 million the same time the year before.
Revenue stayed steady at £117 million, compared to £115.6 million in 2007, as the company saw significant growth in its education resources division.
The company blamed the poor results on the seasonal nature of buying patterns in the education sector.
It said its expectations for the year remained unchanged, pointing out that profit in the first half was always small compared to the year as a whole, and was not a good indicator of the fortunes of the company.
And to prove its confidence, the board said it would be increasing its dividend by six per cent, to 1.26 pence per share.
It is in particular looking to make profits from the Government's Building Schools for the Future project.
RM chief executive Tim Pearson said: "In the first half of 2008 the RM Group made further significant progress: committed revenues were up to a record £380 million; we were successful in four of the eight BSF projects awarded, including the largest bid the group has ever won; and all four of our focus areas are moving forward.
"The Board's expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
"RM's business has been transformed over the last six years.
"We are now a business with significantly improved medium-term visibility of orders, and where over three-quarters of revenues come from innovative, highly differentiated education products and services.
"Our customers are primarily in the public sector and have three-year budgets.
"It's a model that provides returns for our shareholders and educationally-useful products and services for our customers."
Last year, RM saw its pre-tax profit increase to £18.4 million from £14.5 million as revenues rose to £270.9 million from £262.3 million, with successes including a £6 million contract to provide education ICT to four new secondary schools in North Solihull.
Eight schools built under BSF and outfitted by RM are due to be open in the second half of the year.
And since the end of the period covered by its interim statement, RM was awarded another £7 million contract to outfit schools in Leeds.
The company has not yet felt the benefit from all its BSF contracts but is expecting to see them turn into profit by 2010 at the latest, it said.
And the company - while still principally a UK education supplier - has been improving its international presence rapidly.
International sales in the first half of the year were up to £7.8 million, more than double the amount the year before, with significant revenues from education resources, curriculum software and school management software.
In its statement, the company said: "With governments across the world seeking to develop their education systems to meet the needs of the 21st century, information and computer technology is seen as both a key basic skill and an important educational delivery mechanism.
"The UK's reputation as an educational ICT leader means RM is well-positioned for international opportunities: in the English speaking countries where we are already active; in continental Europe; and elsewhere."