One of Northern Ireland\'s three listed company\'s said it expects to see strong growth of its business in the year ahead after posting a 7% increase in profit. First Derivatives, which provides software for stock market trading platforms across the globe, said it made £6.9m pre-tax profit in the year to the end of February and has grown revenue by 25% to £46.1m. The Newry-based company said it had increased staff numbers to 662 from 524 a year earlier and has grown its customer base to include over 91 different investment banks, exchanges, brokers and hedge funds. \"As the economic recovery has been taking a fragile hold we have continued to make a substantial investment in the development of all the group\'s activities,\" chairman David Anderson said. \"The goal of this investment has been to ensure that we build a robust organisation with a strong asset base to ensure future growth.\" And he was confident for the year ahead. \"We expect the market in coming years will continue to be challenging,\" Mr Anderson said. \"We have made a strong start to the current year and expect to be able to report further progress in the year to 28 February 2013.\"