IT provider Sherwood International clawed its way back into profit in 2002 despite difficult trading conditions.

The group made a profit before tax of £94,000 on a turnover of £52m, but its results showed a significant turnaround on the previous year.

The profit before tax increased from a loss in 2001 of £11m. Turnover in 2001 was 8% higher, at £56.5m.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased by 103% to £6.6m, up from £3.2m the year before.

Exceptional items in 2002 included £2m from a court victory, and restructuring costs.

Chief executive Mike Shinya was examining growing the company through a rights issue or going private. And he took a swipe at big investors for "ignoring" the IT sector.

"It strikes us that the business would flourish with greater scale and some of our clients would like us to have greater critical mass," he said, adding: "Given that the bear market continues, it would appear generically that small cap IT companies and telecoms companies, are being ignored by fund managers."