The company that bought out-of-hours software provider Adastra last summer has announced a 142% increase in profits and plans to buy more primary care IT companies.

Advanced Computer Software (ACS) acquired Adastra in August 2008 for £13.2m. It announced this week that Adastra made profits of £2.6m in the six months to February 2009 and £1.1m in the previous six months; a 142% year on year increase.

ACS was set up in 2006 to acquire and manage companies and Adastra was its first acquisition. The company told EHI Primary Care that it had £14.7m cash in hand to fund future acquisitions and that its goal was to be the leading consolidator of software and services to the primary care market.

Vin Murria, chief executive officer of ACS, said it had built a strong and solid foundation for both organic and acquisitive growth.

She added: “Adastra’s market leading position, and our £14.7m cash in hand, places us well to acquire complementary businesses with strong products and services that meet the widening IT needs of the primary care sector.”

ACS said it was actively identifying businesses that fit the board’s criteria. These include products and services that can meet the needs of primary care customers or provide new channels to market for existing products, high levels of recurring revenues and the opportunity to enhance shareholder value by improving efficiencies.

Its possible target markets include polyclinics, minor injury units, district nurses and community services. Its possible acquisition opportunities include software companies for GP practices and community services and hosting and outsourcing services. ACS said it had identified more than 100 possible targets.

The company said the significant growth in Adastra, which supplies software to 95% of out-of-hours centres and 50% of NHS walk-in clinics, included higher revenues related to non-recurring hardware and services in the six months to 28 February 2009.

Developments included the launch of iNurse, a community nurse mobile product piloted in NHS Derby City and successful completion of an integrated solution for the Summary Care Record.

The company added: “The historically high level of recurring revenues it generates from existing products is expected to be enhanced by recurring revenues from new opportunities generated by the iNurse and SCR products and services.”