Misys' internet division, Misys Interactive Trading, could be sold off within the next 18 months, chairman Kevin Lomax said this week.

Lomax was speaking as the software giant unveiled a £22.2m (24.3%) jump in profits to £113.6m for the year ending May 31.

Lomax said: "Misys Interactive was always structured so that it could go outside the group when it was a success. And it would make sense from a shareholder-value point of view to sell the business off."

So far, Misys Interactive's revenues are not big enough to register on the plc's results. Spend on the division was £11m this year, and will rise to £30m next year.

Lomax said he expected the division to become profitable by 2002 or 2003. Conversion rates for MIT now stand at 2%, meaning that of every 100 people who visit the site, two buy insurance.

Misys' overall results were confused by the fact that, in 2000, pre-tax profits included £18.7m worth of asset disposal (share sales).

Also, the group's 1999 figures have been amended to include £30.1m losses on the disposal of discontinued operations (goodwill payments).

Excluding these figures, the group's pre-tax profits slumped from £121.5m to £94.9m.

Within the Misys Financial Systems, Lomax said Misys' general insurance revenues have reported "modest" growth. However, MFS as a whole came through with strong growth because of high demand for IFA products and services.

Lomax said MFS would seek to outsource more of its IT development to high-tech, low-cost countries such as India and the Philippines.

Already the Misys' banking and securities division has 450 software developers in the two countries, and this will continue in the group's other vertical markets.