E-commerce firm’s profits rise in challenging climate

Nigel Welch CEO & Founder of EIB Digital. EIB Digital are a Harrogate based ecommerce and online marketing agency. (Photograph by Jonathan Pow | http://jonathanpow.com | REF: POW_120619_1870)

Nigel Welch CEO & Founder of EIB Digital. EIB Digital are a Harrogate based ecommerce and online marketing agency. (Photograph by Jonathan Pow | http://jonathanpow.com | REF: POW_120619_1870)

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Welcom Software has seen profits rise more than 400 per cent and turnover grow by 277 per cent over the past five years, despite making significant investment in the business this year.

The e-commerce specialist, which has been based in Harrogate for 34 years, said turnover was now £5.3m and profit £625,000.

Half of its revenues in the year to March 31 - £2.65m - have been delivered by its expanded e-commerce and design consultancy, eibDIGITAL, which designs websites for retailers. The other half came from selling credit and finance management software to retailers and lenders.

Welcom’s chief executive Nigel Welch said: “We have posted solid earnings and profits in a year when we underwent a great deal of strategic change as a business, and we have been investing heavily in relocating our southern office and developing new products and market expertise.

“This year has seen us win a number of significant new clients for both sides of the business. We have delivered some leading-edge retail and e-commerce websites through eibDIGITAL, and our development of niche finance software through the Welcom brand continues to thrive despite a highly competitive market.”

Over the last year the firm, which employs 100 staff, has relocated its southern office from Maidenhead to Hammersmith. It has also grown its head office staff, based at Exchange House in Harrogate, to a 70-strong team.

Established in 1978, the business began as a specialist software developer for the finance sector. It acquired the established design and e-commerce business, eibDIGITAL, in 2007, and the consultancy now counts HSS Hire, Ryman, Halfords Autocentres and New Look among its customers.

Mr Welch said high profile online retailing sites for clients like Le Creuset, Hallmark and the Conran Shop were driving strong growth in e-commerce consultancy, and it was here that Welcom could see the majority of its growth potential over the coming year.

He added: “In a rapidly changing retail and online landscape, we are being careful about our exposure to risk, but we still anticipate double-digit growth in revenues in 2012, as well as more recruitment.”