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Beth Stansby
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Sustained high profitability for the first half of 2003

Renewed growth in the second half of the year confirmed

Sales in the first half of 2003 for Linedata Services stood at EUR 47.57 million, representing stable growth on the same period in 2002. Excluding the negative impact of exchange rate fluctuations (USD and GBP), overall growth came out at 3.3%.

Moreover, with an operating margin of 15.6%, the company once again enjoyed a high level of profitability, thanks to its sound management of operating costs and progressive returns on the economies of scale. Net income before goodwill rose by 4.53% to EUR 4.61 million, affording Linedata Services a net margin of 9.7%.

Concurrently, the Group further reinforced its financial strength, with shareholders’ equity totaling EUR 51.1 million for a net financial debt of EUR 28.3 million at June 30. Following the integration of Thomson Financial’s assets, net gearing came out at 55%, for a net cash position of EUR 13.0 million.

A promising outlook

Asset Management: Linedata Services is pleased to report on a pickup in investment projects, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. Backed by recurrent business, new contracts and the contribution of ICON, Linedata Services is maintaining its 2003 target of 5% growth for this business.

Leasing and Credit Finance: Linedata Services is committed to developing its recurrent business through the progressive deployment of its ASP model. Following Toyota in France, Linedata Services has recently signed its first european ASP agreement with FranFinance Suisse, a subsidiary of Société Générale. Linedata Services is also pursuing a number of strategic commercial partnerships in this high-potential market, such as the agreement recently signed with the UK group Bynx, a software company which specializes in automobile fleet management applications.

Employee Savings: Linedata Services has recently reinforced its leading division in individual and group savings schemes with the signing of a draft agreement with ESDS, a French IT company specializing in retirement savings and life insurance. This agreement will afford Linedata Services significant growth potential, particularly in private pension plans, with the division already benefiting from a volume of business of over EUR 30 million as of 2004.

Given the above advantages, Linedata Services maintains its overall growth target of 10% at constant exchange rates (excluding ESDS) for an operating margin of 16% after employee participation. With the acquisition of ESDS, Linedata Services will begin 2004 with pro?forma sales of over EUR 115 million.