Market capitalisation: pounds 6.1bn
Turnover: pounds 660m for year to 30 June 1999
Pre-tax profit: pounds 63.4m
Main businesses: Logica is a computer consultancy providing software and systems solutions to industries including telecoms, finance, and utilities. Customers include governments and firms such as Ford, Merrill Lynch, Exxon, IBM, Prudential and Vodafone
Key executives: Dr Martin Read, managing director and chief executive: Andrew Given, finance director; Mario Anid, acquisitions and global expansion; Larry Quinn, mobile networks, customer care and billing; Jim McKenna, personnel and Asia Pacific region
Number of Employees: 8,500
Dr Martin Read has the sort of CV that makes corporate headhunters drool. As chief executive of Logica for the past six years, he has spearheaded an astonishing corporate expansion. When he took over the helm of the computer consultancy and software systems firm in 1993 the stock market value of the business was a meagre pounds 130m. Today, Logica is among the top 100 British companies, with a market value of pounds 6.1bn after five years of uninterrupted annual 35 per cent growth in earnings.
Logica shareholders must be fearful Mr Read, 49, might be awfully tempted to move on to something even more glamourous, (and perhaps even more lucrative than his package last year of pounds 12,000 a week). They are keeping their fingers crossed that he will decide to stay put to complete his vision of the next five years. "In that time I would like to make Logica as famous a brand as IBM," says Mr Read.
In the Klondyke atmosphere currently pervading the stock market, that goal seems attainable. The chief executive has established himself as a global player in the burgeoning market for information technology. Half the mobile phone messages across the globe, and half the world's currency transactions, involve the use of computer software and systems developed by Logica. The company provides large bespoke software and systems solutions across industries from telecoms to finance, and has a roll call of top- name clients including Ford, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Compaq, Diageo and Reuters.
Mr Read says: "This is a very successful company operating in very exciting market areas. Last year, the combination of rapid organic growth and acquisitions significantly changed the overall shape of our business. We think we are very strongly placed to take advantage of the rising global demand for our proven IT solutions. We have established a world leadership in mobile phones - our products are used by 150 mobile phone operating companies."
He is not surprised by the stock market's torrid and passionate love for all things technological. Getting FTSE 100 status was one of the seemingly impossible targets he set the management very early in his reign.
This year, as Logica shares have trebled in value, that ambition has been comfortably achieved. "People have been asking me about the share price performance for the past three years," he says. "They were wondering how it can be sustained. But IT is simply taking up a greater proportion of world economic activity. It pervades all organisations, not just business. IT is like the steel industry in the Victorian age. Railways, ships and big buildings all needed steel. IT is now a vital component in virtually every company's strategy."
Logica was founded in London in 1969 by three colleagues at a computer sciences company. Within four years it had sales of more than pounds 1m a year, including a contract to help to develop an international funds transfer network for 200 banks in 13 countries. In 1983, the company floated on the market, and for the rest of the decade it snapped up software systems contracts for everything from Ford's communications to speech technology research.
But by …