GFT posts revenue growth and stable earnings in FY 2011
GFT Technologies AG (GFT) today announced its preliminary and unaudited financial figures for the financial year 2011: consolidated revenue was up 10 percent to EUR 272.38 million (previous year: EUR 248.26 million); pre-tax earnings remained virtually unchanged at the high level of EUR 11.05 million (previous year: EUR 11.55 million). “In 2011, we used the general economic upswing to get off to a strong start to the year. In the first six months, we exceeded our strong prior-year figures and also fared well in the difficult economic climate of the last six months. With two targeted acquisitions in 2011, we invested in the future, accelerated growth and strengthened our position as a strategic IT partner for the financial service industry,” states GFT CEO Ulrich Dietz. “We continue to uphold our revenue target of EUR 500 million for 2015. The demand for innovative and secure solutions for mobile life and work is growing rapidly. Our attractive digital business models enable clients to exploit the opportunities of this future market. Moreover, our international network of experts is ideally placed to meet the needs of an increasingly flexible working world.”
Revenue: high growth rates in France, USA and Switzerland
In 2011, the GFT Group benefited from the ongoing economic recovery and succeeded in raising total revenue by 10 percent to EUR 272.38 million. This strong growth was driven above all by the Group’s Resourcing division, which benefited from a high level of demand for IT specialists and engineers in all sectors and countries. In the period under review, segment revenue rose to EUR 156.38 million – an increase of 19 percent over the prior-year figure of EUR 131.77 million. This growth was fuelled by both increased cooperation with existing clients as well as the successful acquisition of new business. In the industrial sector in particular, there was stronger demand in 2011 for highly skilled staff for projects both inside and outside Europe.
The growing stability of the financial sector was reflected by the positive development of the Services segment in the first six months. In the second half of the year, however, the segment was unable to escape the slowdown in growth. However, it still maintained its high prior-year level with segment revenue of EUR 115.50 million (previous year: EUR 116.47 million). Stable revenue streams from long-term projects in the field of core banking solutions and outsourcing services helped compensate almost fully for weaker demand for IT solutions in the field of corporate and investment banking.
The successful expansion of activities in the Resourcing segment and increased volumes for certain projects in the Services segment led to high growth rates in several countries: France reported year-on-year growth of 53 percent, while revenue in Switzerland leapt by 84 percent. There was revenue growth of 13 percent in the USA and 5 percent in Germany. Despite an adverse market environment, the traditionally strong revenue level in Spain was raised again by 11 percent. In the UK, more cautious demand in the financial sector led to a fall in revenue of 5 percent.
EBT: virtually unchanged from last year
Earnings before taxes in 2011 were affected by more modest capital spending in the financial sector and the resulting fall in revenue. At EUR 11.05 million, the figure was slightly down on the previous year (EUR 11.55 million). The Services segment accounted for the largest share of this total (EUR 9.01 million compared to EUR 9.40 million in the previous year). Reduced revenues and a deterioration in capacity utilisation had a dampening effect on segment earnings in the second half of the year. In the Resourcing division, there was an increase in segment earnings of 17 percent to EUR 3.49 million (previous year: EUR 2.99 million). This was due to the positive development of revenue and the success of measures introduced to raise efficiency.
Outlook: focus on future markets for sustainable growth
“Our portfolio of products and services has proved highly robust in uncertain times. We continued our strategic development in 2011 and will remain focused on our future markets and topics in 2012. We are targeting growth fields in the finance sector with innovative IT solutions in the field of mobile applications. In addition, we expect the rising global demand for skilled employees to stimulate further growth,” says GFT’s CEO Ulrich Dietz.
Against the backdrop of its strong progress in the Resourcing sector and consistently high demand, GFT expects to be able to maintain its solid growth in this segment. In addition, the company forecasts growing demand from the finance sector for IT outsourcing offers and solutions designed to meet rising compliance demands in 2012. As Ulrich Dietz explains: “Despite having to compensate for a significant decline in revenue from a particular Resourcing client, we expect to grow our other business in 2012. In the current fiscal year, we anticipate total revenue of EUR 250 million and pre-tax earnings of EUR 12 million.” In the medium term, GFT expects to reach the 500-million-euro mark by 2015: “We plan to enhance our competencies with further acquisitions and are upholding our revenue target of EUR 500 million.”
In view of its encouraging performance, the GFT Group plans to continue its dividend policy. For 2011, the Executive Board will recommend that the Supervisory Board proposes a dividend of EUR 0.15 at the Annual General Meeting. This would correspond to a total dividend payout of EUR 3.95 million.
Additional key data
In the period under review, the GFT Group added top-quality IT consultancy and implementation expertise to its portfolio with the acquisition of Asymo AG in Switzerland and the consultancy division of G2 Systems in the USA. Leading financial institutes were added to the client base in both countries. Asymo AG was consolidated as of June 2011 and G2 Systems in October 2011.
The Resourcing segment achieved strong growth in 2011. The segment generated revenue of EUR 156.38 million in 2011 (previous year: EUR 131.77 million) and contributed EUR 3.49 million to total earnings (previous year: EUR 2.99 million). Growth was particularly strong in the segment’s Resource Management business, which raised revenue to EUR 88.00 million – an increase of 35 percent (previous year: EUR 65.30 million). There was also a slight increase in Third Party Management business, which posted revenue of EUR 68.38 million (previous year: EUR 66.47 million).
The Services segment focuses mainly on the financial services industry. Despite the adverse market climate in this sector during 2011, the segment succeeded in holding revenue reasonably stable at EUR 115.50 million (previous year: EUR 116.47 million) with segment earnings of EUR 9.01 million (previous year: EUR 9.40 million).
The slowdown in economic growth began to impact both revenues and earnings of the GFT Group in the fourth quarter of 2011. In the last three months of 2011, GFT posted revenue of EUR 64.51 million (previous year: EUR 69.52 million) and an EBT result of EUR 2.00 million (previous year: EUR 2.79 million).
The number of employees increased over the financial year 2011. As of 31 December 2011, the GFT Group employed 1,337 people (previous year: 1,300). This increase was largely due to the addition of staff from acquisitions made by the Services segment in Switzerland and the USA. In Germany, headcount totalled 289 as of the balance sheet date – 12 more than one year before.
As of 31 December 2011, the GFT Group had cash and cash equivalents of EUR 39.68 million (previous year: EUR 40.32 million). Net income amounted to EUR 8.29 million and was thus slightly up on the previous year (EUR 8.25 million). Basic earnings per share for the period under review remained unchanged from the previous year at EUR 0.31.
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