Comtec targets growth in North American market

Travel technology specialist Comtec is expecting to see modest growth this year and next before it looks to its next big move in taking its products to the north American market.

One of the firm’s major clients, Travel Impressions, a part of the Amex group, is based in the US, but otherwise the Cwmbran-based developer is largely UK-centric in terms of its customer base.

New chief executive Kevin Gordon, a technology turnaround specialist who was brought in after a management buy-out backed by RJD Partners from its founders including former chief executive Simon Powell and Dominic Twitchin, said he wanted to get the UK on a sounder footing before looking at expansion abroad.

“I would not want to start pushing out of the UK until we have all the software refreshed and coming out of the UK absolutely humming,” he said. “We have to make sure all the changes we have made stick. The business plan for 2012 was to get right all what we should have been doing all along.

“Coming out of 2012 and into 2013 and 2014 will be about maximising that in the UK, maximising CRM and maximising the investment we have made.

“I think we will still get very low double digit growth out of the UK but in terms of the next big thing it’s taking these products to the US and Canada.”

Comtec already has some developers based in Canada looking after the Travel Impressions relationship.

Gordon said despite the apparently more mature online travel sector in the US the Comtec product, particularly in the area of reservations, would still be leading edge.

Gordon said he wants to see Comtec honing its core technology platforms, getting them to work faster and faster while bolting on products in emerging areas like mobile social and CRM either by developing either propriety technology or entering into partnerships with specialists.

A significant overhaul of the business has taken place over the last 12 months to restructure it and refocus on its priorities and Gordon said the investors are happy with where the company is headed.

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