AA Awards 2008: Growing Business FD of the Year

AccountancyAge Awards 2008

Detica’s Mandy Gradden rounds off a spectacular year with the company,
despite the market turmoil, by picking up the award for Growing Business FD of
the Year.

The stellar performance in a difficult market saw revenue rise 30% to £203m
and operating profits soar 58% to £27m, and it didn’t go unnoticed by other
market players. In July Detica was the target of a buy out by BAE worth £531m.

Detica is an IT security company focused on identifying and countering ‘those
who threaten the safety of the public, the security of the state or seek to
commit serious and organised crime’. However, unlike many technology companies
that have suffered in the downturn, Detica has managed to buck the trend –
partly due to its less cyclical business model, but also through Gradden’s
communication with the market.

Her ‘timely and clear communication of what was going on and very clear
analysis after the event of how the various parts of Detica had performed’
impressed the market and the judges.

One analyst commented: ‘[Gradden] has always been professional,
straightforward, honest and easy to deal with. She is clearly completely on top
of her role, and has gained the respect both of the City and, I believe, of her
CEO, Tom Black.’

It has been the strong organic growth of the company that has set her apart
from the other contenders. Detica’s government business was strong, growing 16%
last year, and the continued growth means that this side of the business can
underpin earnings as the company looks to beef up its operations in the US.

‘She’s a complete professional,’ commented the judges.

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