16 Jan 2017 Ros Snowdon, The Yorkshire Post

WANdisco shares leap following record bookings

Shares in software firm WANdisco leaped more than 20 per cent after it reported a 72 per cent rise in total bookings last year in its first trading update since a boardroom bust-up resulted in the departure of a number of senior figures.

The Sheffield-based firm said bookings reached a record level in the last quarter of 2016, rising 97 per cent to £5m. Over the year as a whole, they rose 72 per cent to £13m as partnerships with IBM, Oracle and Amazon contributed to its performance. 

The group’s shares rose 22 per cent to close the day up 50p at 274p. WANdisco said a strong order book and sales pipeline underpin its medium term growth expectations. 

David Richards, CEO and interim chairman of WANdisco, said: “We are delighted to have achieved record bookings in the fourth quarter of £5m and total bookings for the year up 72 per cent. 

“Additionally, operating at nearly cash flow break-even during the quarter reflects the significant action taken to reduce our operational cost base, which coupled with our improved booking performance has dramatically reduced our cash burn rate, ending the year with no net debt.“ 

He said the key focus for 2016 was to establish the group’s partner network and during the year it successfully secured an IBM OEM agreement, as well as two significant channel partnerships with Oracle and Amazon. “These partnerships are both strategically important to WANdisco as well as already significantly contributing to our bookings performance,” he said. “We have begun 2017 with a strong new business pipeline and a significantly reduced cost base, which together, will further our progress towards profitability.” 

WANdisco went through a turbulent period last year which saw co-founder Mr Richards re-appointed as chief executive in October, just a week after the board announced he was stepping down. In December Erik Miller rejoined the company as chief financial officer and was reappointed as a board director.