Enlarged Halesowen banking software company Financial Objects can evolve as a significant player in its market, the company said yesterday.

It revealed pretax profits to December 31 rose to £1 million from £300,000 in the previous period.

The company highlighted the acquisition and integration of Wealth Management Software - also based at Halesowen - as well as strong growth in its Activebank division, which increased sales to £5.9 million.

The group said it remained optimistic in its outlook.

Chairman Roger Foster said:"The year saw good underlying trading, particularly in the Activebank division.

"We also made several important strategic moves including the acquisition and successful integration of Wealth Management Software."

Financial Objects had made a positive trading start to 2006 and had just completed the acquisition of the Raft International business.

He said: "I am therefore optimistic that we can continue the momentum of the past two years, and I believe the enlarged group now has the size and credibility to evolve as a significant player in our market."

The company said turnover increased by 46 per cent to £13.9 million against £9.5 million in 2004 and pretax profit, before goodwill, amortisation and exceptional items, increased to £1 million from £300,000.

After exceptional items and goodwill amortisation, there was a loss of £200,000.

Adjusted earnings per share increased to 2.9p from 1.1p.

Mr Foster said as a result of the acquisition of WMS and Raft, the enlarged group was well positioned.

He said: "We believe that there are significant opportunities open to the group now that we have established ourselves as a market leader in the supply of a complete set of advanced technology products based on the Microsoft .NET and Java platforms."

He said revenues for the Activebank division hit £5.9 million from £3.3 million and, excluding the acquisition of WMS, underlying revenue rose to £4.7 million, a jump of 42 per cent, driven by "an increase in the base of installed systems".

Costs remained under tight control and the use of the company's offshore development centre had led to all retail banking software being developed in India.

That allowed it to remain cost competitive when bid-ding for new business.

The company had integrated the wealth management business of WMS into the Activebank division.

Mr Foster said: "The wealth management and retail banking products complement each other functionally and technically and operate on the Microsoft .NET platform. All the products within the Activebank division have begun 2006 with a strong order book and a healthy sales pipeline."

The company's IBIS division saw revenues decline to £ 5.7 million from £6.2 million, but operating margins improved.

In the PDF division, the acquisition of WMS provided additional niche products serving specific markets.

Mr Foster said: "These products include fairs, a product for independent financial advisers; genisys, a document management solution; and property asset management software for maintaining large property portfolios."

PDF contributed revenues of £2.3 million during the seven months since acquisition. ..SUPL: