Cyber security specialist NCC (NCC) continues its recovery from a February warning of softer UK demand and staffing issues with today’s trading update as the shares advance 6.9% to 171p.

NCC has two key divisions, one provides software escrow services, which basically means it keeps safe vital code for enterprise software and applications.

The two sides of the business complement each other. While escrow is slower growth, it supplies the bulk of the company’s profit and cash generation from a globally dominant position.

The ‘assurance’ side of its business brings a high value cyber advice arm.

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The company says revenue in its assurance division continues to grow, though revenue in its escrow division has fallen slightly. Overall the company says results for the year to 31 May were in line with expectations.

‘Revenue in the assurance division continues to grow at similar rates to those delivered in the first half of the year and global headcount in the technical teams is now at the levels needed to satisfy future demand,’ NCC says.

‘While sales in the escrow division have decreased slightly over the year in the UK, a focus on recruitment means that the UK sales team enters the new financial year at full strength.’

Shore Capital analyst Robin Speakman says: ‘Assurance has seen its development progress in-line with market trends and staffing issues are confirmed to have been resolved to provide a full complement of technical staff to service client demand. Good news then.

‘The cash collection woes seen in H1, due to staffing issues in the centre, have also been substantially addressed with net debt levels more than halving from end November 2018 from £45m to £21m at the end of May – this is also a welcome reduction from the £27m level last year.’

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Issue Date: 11 Jun 2019