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Datacraft's Quarter Profit Jumps 47%

Datacraft Asia, Southeast Asia's largest computer data network builder, said on Friday its quarterly profit jumped 47% on robust technology spending by companies and productivity
improvements.

Datacraft earned $6.21 million in its fiscal first quarter ended December, compared with $4.24 million a year ago. Revenue rose 7% to $128.7 million.

The company achieved a gross margin of 19.2% for the first quarter, compared with 18% in the year-ago period and 18.7% for the fourth quarter.

The increase in margins was driven by the services division, as it focused on more profitable, higher value contracts, coupled with improvements in productivity.

The Singapore networking specialist said its outlook for the second quarter was positive, underpinned by a healthy order backlog. "The prevailing market trends look favorable and demand remains healthy, although overall gross margins may moderate due to the increase in hardware (orders)," Chief Executive Bill Padfield said in a statement.

Padfield told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box" that Datacraft is on the lookout for acquisitions in Asia, including India. "There are a number of interesting companies around the region. We're looking for companies that will add value to the business model, not just scale."

"But it's a matter of getting the right company, at the right value, and the right price, and that's difficult today.", he added. He declined to indicate a time frame for the completion of any potential buys but said the company had cash of about $30-$40 million to spend.

Datacraft, a unit of South African information technology group Dimension Data , builds and maintains computer networks for banks, telecoms providers and technology firms.

It competes with the services units of Hewlett-Packard, International Business Machines and local rivals DMX Technologies and Frontline Technologies.