Remarkable turnaround as WANdisco shares soar
Shares in Sheffield-based cloud computing firm WANdisco have climbed more than 20 per cent just three months after its “cloak and dagger spy novel” boardroom fiasco.
Total bookings for 2016 were up 72 per cent at £12.9 million, prompting the share price to reach 261p.
Last autumn chief executive and co-founder David Richards was forced out after 11 years, only to instigate a shareholder revolt which saw him reinstated a week later and several senior figures leave the company.
He said at the time that he had been “ambushed… it is the stuff of cloak and dagger spy novels”.
“This is what we have been saying is going to happen all year - a significant bookings increase, getting costs under control and then approaching cash flow break-even,” he said of the trading update.
“Did people think we were going to do a multi-million dollar deal with IBM? Well, probably not. But we did.
“Did people think we were going to come to close to reaching cash flow break-even in the fourth quarter? They probably didn’t, but we did.
“What’s nice about this is that we have actually got solid numbers, not just sentiment. It’s not just me saying I think things are going to improve - things have clearly improved.”
WANdisco, which is also based in California, is yet to post a profit since becoming a publicly listed company in 2012.
Meanwhile the firm is using its expertise to support a European Union-funded initiative which could make it easier for doctors to spot the early signs of dementia.
The disease killed more than 61,000 people in England and Wales last year.
A WANdisco spokesman said: “Dementia develops as a result of the interaction of genetic, non-genetic and environmental factors.
“Large quantities of the behavioural, genetic, environmental and clinical data relating to those factors is already being generated in laboratories all over the world.
“Until recently, it has been impossible to store and process such massive and diverse data sets.”
The University of Sheffield’s Center for Computational Imaging & Simulation Technologies in Biomedicine has started to analyse this data with WANdisco’s Active Transactional Data Replication technology.
This enables large volumes of data to be moved between eight different cloud providers, so it can be analysed by more than 950 applications.
The data is then used in a series of computer platforms available throughout the EU.