Business Irish

Saturday 22 October 2016

Netwatch plans Chicago office as profits jump to €1.4m

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 02/12/2015 | 02:30

Netwatch boss David Walsh. Photo: Conor McCabe
Netwatch boss David Walsh. Photo: Conor McCabe

Irish cyber security firm Netwatch is set to open another office in the US in the new year after its full-year profits increased by almost 50pc in 2014.

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Netwatch, which is based in Carlow, offers web-based CCTV monitoring services.

Using two-way communication software, employees at the firm can monitor premises and alert intruders that they are being monitored, discouraging break-ins and theft.

Netwatch installs its surveillance equipment on a customer's premises free of charge and the customer then pays on a contract basis.

According to accounts just filed by Netwatch to the Companies Office, gross profits rose to €5.6m in the year to the end of December 2014 compared to €4.5m the year before, while administrative expenses increased from €3.4m to €3.9m.

Turnover rose from €8.5m to €9.6m. Overall the company made a full-year profit of €1.4m, up from just under €1m the year before.

Netwatch chief executive David Walsh is on track to have about €13m in contracted revenue for the next five years secured by the end of 2015.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said: "We would also look to add an additional €6m-€7m in recurring revenue next year, [so] we would have €20m in contracted revenue.

"Because of our revenue model we would only receive about half of new revenue in a year, [so] we will do about €16.5m in revenue in 2016."

He added that the company is also planning to open an office in Chicago in the new year.

Netwatch has about 170 employees, with its main operations in Ireland, the UK and the United States.

"We are looking to open up a new office in Chicago in the first quarter of 2016, it will be a sales office so there will be a small number of staff, [in the] single digits, and there isn't a huge upfront capital expenditure," he said.

Asked if the company is considering opening in any new locations, he said: "We would look to bed down Chicago first.

"Florida is an option as well as we already have a few customers there."

Mr Walsh has previously said his ambition is for the company to hit annual revenues of €100m by 2020.

He has also considered the possibility of an IPO, saying that the company's business model is suitable for a public company.

He said: "We have built up a strong senior management team over the last number of years [and] in order for us to hit the 2020 vision they will need to do a lot on the international stage, mostly in the UK and US.

He added: "People have talked to us about an IPO and one of the reasons why everyone thinks Netwatch is ideal is because we have a reliable source of income from our contracted revenue."

The accounts also show that the company raised €2.5m during the year as part of part of an Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) fundraising exercise.

The company said that it would be used to "support the continuing development of the company".

Irish Independent

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