BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM-Delcam, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CADCAM) developer, has announced that it has maintained high levels of research and development expenditure during the first half of 2009, despite feeling the effects of the global economic downturn. The company invested more than £4.7 million in research and development during the period, a small increase from the £4.5 million invested in the first half of 2008.

Delcam also continued to invest in other areas of its business, including the opening of a new Professional Services Group and the addition of a large five-axis machine tool in its Tooling Services Division.

Sales during the opening six months of £16.1 million were less than 5% down from the £16.9 million achieved in the equivalent period last year. This reflected the very challenging market conditions, which saw the company’s manufacturing customer base deferring its expenditure on software.

Within this total, recurring maintenance revenues, derived from software maintenance and support contracts, increased by 13% to £5.8 million compared with £5.1 million in the first half of 2008.

Despite the fall in sales and its continued high levels of research and development expenditure, Delcam remained profitable. Pre-tax tax profit for the first six months of 2009 was £0.3 million, against £1.4 million in the first half of 2008. Net cash at the end of the period was a very healthy £5.8 million.

“Reflecting the global financial and economic crisis, the trading environment in 2009 has been challenging and the impact of the downturn in the manufacturing sector has been even harder than we initially anticipated at the end of last year,” says Peter Miles, Delcam president. “With many companies postponing their investments in capital equipment, it is to be expected that the associated software sales should also be delayed.

“However, as we stated in our 2008 annual report, given Delcam’s strong financial position and high level of recurring income, we believe that the business is well placed to see out the near-term challenges,” continues Miles. “In particular, we are continuing to invest significantly in product development and marketing. This provides us with an increasing commercial advantage and will help to support our ambitions to build our market share during the downturn.”

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