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Computer Task Group’s profits up 21 percent

Computer Task Group said Monday that first-quarter profits rose 21 percent from a year ago, driven by demand for electronic medical records and other health care information technology.

The company also hired 300 more consultants to keep up with the work.

The Buffalo-based information technology staffing, software and services company reported net income of $4.06 million, or 24 cents per share, up from $3.36 million, or 20 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Operating income rose 10 percent to $6.18 million, while the operating profit margin widened. Total revenues increased 5 percent to $108.5 million.

The technology firm declared its first quarterly cash dividend in February but did not buy back any shares during the first quarter.

Chairman and CEO James R. Boldt noted that the company’s revenues came in at the upper range of the company’s prior guidance for Wall Street for the quarter, even though the quarter had one fewer billing day than last year’s first quarter.

“CTG is reporting another excellent quarter, delivering results consistent with our expectations,” Boldt said.

Solutions revenue rose 4.7 percent to $42.7 million, representing 39.4 percent of total revenues, or about the same as a year ago. Staffing revenues rose 5.1 percent to $65.8 million, or 60.6 percent of all revenues, also about the same as last year. Total head count rose 8.1 percent to 4,000 from 3,700 a year ago.

Revenues from Europe rose 13 percent to $19.4 million, or 17.9 percent of the total, as business grew in the company’s testing, health care, government and financial services practices. During the quarter, the company bought Etrinity, a Belgium-based technology services provider that markets to health care providers, and Boldt noted that “health care organizations in several European countries” are moving to adopt U.S. medical records software “over the next few years.” CTG employs 500 consultants in the United Kingdom and the Benelux region of Europe.

Health care revenues rose to 32 percent of the total, up from 31 percent a year ago, though three large medical records contracts that the company won in February will not be staffed until the second quarter. Other projects were also begun or are expected to start in the second quarter.

“Revenue in our staffing business was bolstered in the quarter by increased demand for technical resources as clients are becoming more confident in the sustainability of the domestic and global economic recovery,” Boldt said.

Selling, general and administrative expenses rose less than 1 percent to $16.4 million, equal to 15.1 percent of revenues, as the company benefited from tight cost control and better leverage to produce more revenues.

CTG also said it is “reiterating” its revenue and earnings guidance for the second quarter and full year, “based upon first-quarter demand for staffing and our current expectations for our health care business.” The company has 15 medical records projects under way, with three more slated to start this quarter and decisions pending on three other proposals it submitted to potential clients.

“Overall, we expect 2013 will be an excellent year and the seventh year of the last eight of significant double-digit earnings growth,” Boldt said.