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Tim Osler / Dawn Blenkiron / Benjamin Tranham
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GFT gets off to a positive start in 2008

• Group revenue rises to € 55.4m compared to previous year’s figures
• Distinct increase in revenue in the Resourcing segment
• Earnings before taxes (EBT) fall to € 0.5m owing to special circumstances
• Revenue and income targets for the year confirmed

In 2008, the international IT services provider GFT Technologies AG got the new financial year off to a positive start. In the first quarter of 2008, the company increased its revenue by three percent to € 55.4m, posting earnings before taxes (EBT) totalling € 0.5m. The revenue and income targets for the year 2008 were confirmed.

In a macroeconomic environment, marred by the crisis on the financial markets, the revenues and earnings of the GFT Group developed according to plan. Compared to the same period last year, revenue increased by three percent to € 55.4m.

The increasing shortage of skilled IT workers and the resulting rising demand for freelance experts had a positive impact on the development of revenue in the Resourcing segment in the first quarter. During the reporting period, revenue rose by 15 percent and totalled € 33.4m (previous year: € 28.9m). At € 20.6m, revenue in the Services segment was below the previous year's figure of € 23.5m. This is essentially attributable to the crisis in the financial markets and the resulting hesitancy on the part of banking customers to invest in new IT solutions. At € 1.5m, revenue in the Software segment increased by seven percent in the first three months of 2008 (previous year: € 1.4m), reflecting the increasing success of the e-mail archiving solution inboxx.

In the first quarter of 2008, earnings before taxes (EBT) fell year-on-year from € 2.2m to € 0.5m owing to a number of special circumstances. The sale of the majority stake in the Indian subsidiary GFT India Limited on 29 February 2008 had a negative effect on earnings, as did the on schedule completion at the end of 2007 of the high-yield implementation phase of a major project in Brazil. At the same time, significant investments in sales and marketing relating to the launch of the e-mail archiving solution inboxx had an impact on earnings.

As of 31 March 2008, net profit for the year was below the previous quarter's figures (€ 1.3m) at € 0.1m. The earnings per share fell during the reporting period by € 0.04 to € 0.01. The funds available remained virtually unchanged compared to the same period last year (€ 20.6m) and as of 31 March 2008 totalled € 20.7m.

As of the end of the first quarter, the GFT Group employed a workforce of 1,045 – 42 fewer employees than at the end of the year 2007 and 26 fewer employees than in the same period the previous year. The decline in the number of employees is essentially due to the deconsolidation of the Indian subsidiary. At the end of the year, the Indian location had a workforce of 55. At the same time, GFT succeeded in gaining new, highly-qualified employees for its German locations thanks to successful recruitment measures.

“With the aid of specific investments, we are currently pressing ahead with expansion into new markets. We aim to make rapid progress with the establishment of our successful Resourcing business model in the Eastern European market,” explained Ulrich Dietz, CEO of GFT Technologies AG. “Following the market launch of the e-mail archiving solution inboxx, we anticipate rising revenues in the Software division during the course of the year. Based on the current order situation, we also expect the willingness to invest from clients in the financial sector to improve in the Services division and therefore expect an associated rise in revenue during the second half of 2008”.

Based on current business development, the Executive Board is able to confirm its revenue forecast of between € 250m and € 270m with an operating EBT of between € 12.5m and € 13.5m for the financial year 2008.