Healthcare IT system supplier EMIS has announced a 15% increase in profits although fewer than 2% of its practices have so far switched to its next generation system, EMIS Web.

The company’s annual results also show that it increased its UK market share in 2010 from 52.5% to 53.8%, as a result of gaining 398 practices in Scotland where the NHS has signed a contract for EMIS PCS.

In 2010 the company’s revenues increased by 8% and it made an operating profit of £19.6.

EMIS says it is confident of “further increase in revenue” this year and predicts that rollout of EMIS Web will accelerate in the second half of the year.

It repeated earlier comments that it believed it was well placed for future growth in light of the strategic changes planned in the NHS in England.

So far deployment of EMIS Web has been completed at 77 GP practices, fewer than 2% of EMIS’ practices in England and Wales. However, the company said it has 247 further installation dates booked.

It said 433 orders had been placed by the end of December and 1,665 practices had placed orders for the familiarisation service.

Sean Riddell, chief executive of EMIS, told EHI Primary Care that EMIS was currently under “controlled roll-out” as the company sought to fix bugs in the system and streamline the process.

It needs to meet the needs of the different configurations in GP practices where software from a series of partner suppliers is also being used.

Riddell added: “We’re not rushing out now to get sites installed because we want it running as smoothly as possible. We know how to install software and you don’t rush these things.”

Riddell said he did not want to commit to when controlled roll-out would end but predicted that numbers would accelerate by the end of the year although again would not predict numbers.

He said the company was actively recruiting to meet plans for accelerated roll-out later in the year including night shift workers to handle the overnight switch over from existing EMIS systems to EMIS Web.

The company floated on the Alternative Investment Market last March and told investors that it had achieved its major objective of the year which was the accreditation of EMIS Web.

Riddell said the company was seeing “a high level of intent to upgrade” to EMIS Web and told investors that the overhaul of the NHS in England opened up new markets for EMIS Web.

Riddell said: “The NHS in England is undergoing a combination of political upheaval and austerity challenges and has moved its position away from the development of centralised national systems to a ‘connect all’ strategy."

He said that in addition to the 157,000 staff currently based in GP practices, 292,000 staff work in extended primary and community healthcare represented additional potential markets for EMIS.

Riddell said the company had signed contracts with the NHS for use of EMIs web in extended primary and community healthcare in Liverpool, Tower Hamlets and Cumbria.

He said it had also won a five year contract with an initial value of £1.8m to deliver a shared patient healthcare record for 4,000 clinicians across Cheshire, further details of which will be released next week.

The company also set up its joint venture Healthcare Gateway in 2010 with fellow IT system supplier INPS in 2010 to enable sharing of patient data via a medical interoperability gateway.

EMIS said although the project was still in its development stage “significant revenue flows are anticipated”. The gateway began this month to pilot the transfer of discharge summaries and sharing of records in London and Cumbria.

Last year EMIS also acquired pharmacy system supplier Rx Systems. In its annual results, it said that since the acquisition last August it had increased the pharmacy supplier’s market share from 20.5% to 25%.

The company said it had identified a number of “significant synergies” which it expected to be exploited by both businesses in 2011 and beyond.

In his report to investors Riddell said that while recurring income from licensing and software support had increased mainly from an increase in accredited hosted deployment income from hardware sales, engineering and training had reduced.

He added: “Not unsurprisingly, discretionary spend on hardware, engineering services and training was affected by pressure on NHS budgets and political uncertainty.

"It also appears that some spending is being deferred in anticipation of the roll-out of EMIS Web. We expect that pressure on NHS budgets will continue to impact discretionary spend.”

The results reveal that EMIs is continuing with a managed exit from its Canadian subsidiary but also highlight its Australian defence contract wins and its continued supply of systems to the Ministry of Defence in England.

Riddell added: “We remain focussed on cross-organisational healthcare and are confident that we can help healthcare professionals to deliver clinical benefit and improved efficiency through our software and services.”


EMIS results