IT specialist's £28m deal with Defra sees share price rise 75%

Sherwood International's share price shot up 75% last week after it announced a £28m deal with the government.

The software provider has landed a two-year extension to a deal with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), where it has been putting systems together for the department's BSE control mechanism.

Sherwood chief marketing officer Martyn Lambert said that Sherwood had created a system, which was Defra's "audit mechanism" for BSE.

He said: "The system logs and controls the flow of the food chain, from the feed to the cattle to the meat in the shops."

He said that Sherwood had been working on the system for two years prior to the contract extension.

"We have 80 to 90 professional services people working within Defra," he said.

"They will continue to provide the maintenance and support over the two-year period."

Lambert reported further growth within Sherwood, saying it was on the verge of selling its first Imata Life Faststart product.

He said that Sherwood had started work on the modulised system 15 months ago and was marketing it to "mid-tier" companies that would invest £5m to £10m in IT systems.