Shares rally at NHS IT provider Kainos as it hikes forecasts

Shares in NHS IT provider Kainos have surged by more than a quarter after it hiked revenue and profit forecasts.

Belfast-based Kainos, which provides government departments and public bodies with software to let them share work easier, said customer demand had been high since the end of March. This had resulted in a “very strong trading performance”, Kainos said. 

It was now expecting revenue for the year ended March 31 2021 to be “materially ahead” of consensus, and adjusted profits to come in “significantly” higher than forecasts. 

Shares in Kainos were up 28pc at £13.04 on Wednesday, hitting a record high and taking its market cap to £1.6bn.

The latest statement marks an improvement in outlook for the company, which had said earlier this year it was taking a “prudent” approach to trading, and pushing back construction on a new headquarters building.

In May, it had said it was not clear what the “duration or the severity of the economic disruption [would be] and the impact it will have on our customers”. Kainos now said it had a robust pipeline and a significant contracted backlog.

The company’s work with government departments and the NHS includes “streamlining processes and maximising security”, as well as managing legacy systems.

During the pandemic, the Government has been using digital systems to monitor the public perception of lockdown rules, as well as track the potential hit to the high street and businesses.

Different departments have also been readying for Brexit, and in July, a deal was struck with Kainos to provide “stable platforms to support UK imports, exports and the chemicals manufacturing industry” as the UK leaves the EU.

That contract was not put out to competitors, as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said “it would be impossible, or near impossible for a new supplier to gain an understanding of the business requirements in the time available and, in particular, establish the customer intimacy necessary in order to deliver the services in the time available”, prior to the transition period coming to an end on December 31.

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