Down the Procurement Pub with Procurex, Basware, Elections and The Aces

Our friend Guy Allen of Real World Sourcing / Procurement fame did no less than six 25 minute workshop sessions at yesterday’s Procurex South event at London’s Olympia on several different topics too. So when he finished, it was no surprise that he persuaded me to drag myself away from the event for 45 minutes to join him as he quenched his thirst and eased his aching throat in the Fuller’s pub over the road. Oliver’s Island was I believe his beverage of choice. Me? Just mineral water, of course.

 

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Procurex was a good event, with lots to write about next week and the chance to meet old friends and some new people. There was a strong focus on sessions with a training and development angle which seems to have encouraged practitioner attendance and multiple parallel strands gave plenty of choice for delegates. We heard there were over 900 registrations and while we doubt that many people were there at any one moment, there were several hundred we’d say and the workshop sessions were well attended. The focus is public sector of course but pretty broad, with around 50 exhibitors, some appealing to the local government market, some health, some more general. We had fascinating conversations about a couple of very different and somewhat unusual supply items – more on that next week but I guarantee they are two topics you won’t have read about here previously or probably anywhere else!

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Software firm Basware announced first quarter results this morning. The good news is that the growth the firm has been seeking for the past year or two was there;  a 7.8% increase in net sales compared with the same period last year. Strong cloud revenue growth (now just over 50% of net sales) fits with the number one corporate objective too. But there was an operating loss of €5 million in the quarter, twice as much as last year. Shareholders will hope that this reflects one-off costs around the “dash for growth” and that profitability can return fairly quickly. There does not seem too much immediate reaction to the results one way or another - the share price so far today at 8am UK time is down slightly (around 2%). (Lunchtime update- shares now up 5% on the day!)

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Many political observers have advised that bookmakers are the most savvy people when it comes to predicting election results. This was disproven though in the case of the Trump election and Brexit. But just looking at Betfair on Wednesday, it was interesting to note that their expectation of seats for the UK  post June 8th election is 356-7 seats for the Tories, 182-3 for Labour and 30-31 seats for the Lib Dems. (The current numbers are 330, 229 and 9 respectively).  So big gains for the Tories and Lib Dems at the expense of Labour, but maybe not quite the landslide that some are expecting. Betfair does not expect more than 1 UKIP seat either. Given my mother-in-law’s performance on the Grand National where she picked the 1st and 2nd horses, I think I will just ask her …

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The weather here seems to be reverting to February, I can’t plant out my beans and courgettes yet, and Munich is snow-covered apparently, so let’s think about summer with Utah quartet the Aces and Physical. It is very Haim-like but as that band seem to have disappeared, this will do just fine as a blast of light and summery pop-rock.

 

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