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Repcol to grow Indian call centre

DEBT collection company Repcol has announced plans to triple the size of its call centre in India, with staffing expected to grow from 200 to 600 by October. Managing director John Wreford said all future growth would be in India. In contrast, staffing in the Australian call centres in Perth and Brisbane has dropped, but will stay around current levels of about 150. Mr Wreford said the company was moving into new leased premises in Bangalore to accommodate the planned growth, which he said was mainly in response to organic growth by existing clients, including GE Capital. He added that Repcol had picked up some extra work after listed competitor RMG was placed in administration last month. In addition, Mr Wreford believes new capital rules for banks, which bring forward the charge-off period for bad debts from 180 days to 120 days, would also provide a boost. Patersons Securities analyst Robert Gee is forecasting annual profit to increase to $5.9 million in 2004-05 and $8.7 million in 2005-06, with significant potential for the company to outperform. He rates the stock a buy with a target price of 80 cents per share. It is currently trading around 48 cents.

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