Wednesday 07 October 2020

*UKHotViewsExtra* - The quiet evolution of Liberata

LiberataThere are a number of positive developments happening “under the bonnet” at business process operations specialist Liberata, that have yet to grab much attention outside of the firm itself or their partners and clients.

A year ago, we took a detailed look at some of the initiatives and investment programmes that the firm was making getting “match fit for digital”. Having been acquired by Japanese BPO outfit Outsourcing Inc (OSI) back in 2016, the firm currently finds itself part-way through a three-year investment cycle into its core business and operations. Liberata is being given the luxury of being able to invest to future-proof its business, whilst accepting a short-term impact with a view to delivering sustainable medium to long-term growth in revenue and most importantly profitability.

Liberata has been making made structural investments into its core business (revenues and benefits admin, outsourced payroll and other “white collar” BPO) in both 2019 and 2020 and plans to do more of the same next year. Investment has included process standardisation across client contracts as well as the deployment of automation technologies. 

This investment has yet to be reflected in the top and bottom lines where a look at recent Liberata financials shows pretty slow revenue growth and lowish profit margins. However, the ambition remains to drive double digit EBIT and EBITDA margins once the investment cycle has come to an end. Come 2022, the financials should look very different as the investment washes through and where double-digit margins would be a first for the business.

HVpremiumThe nature of this investment is supporting much greater delivery of online and digital services that will see the firm undertake less manual/labour intensive processing work. Reflecting this, headcount has already dipped below 1,000 staff for the first time -all without a concerted effort to make redundancies, down from 1,100 just a year ago. An increasing proportion of the workload is being digitised and processed via technology and automation, all meaning that smaller staff teams are likely here to stay.

UKHotViews Premium and research subscribers can read more of our analysis on how Liberata is progressing here

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:48' - Tagged: publicsector   localgovernment   hr   bps