acquired in April 2002.
- Q4 sales were â¬35.1m, an increase of 14% on the same period in 2001,
despite the fact that sales in Q4 2001 were exceptionally high due to
non-recurrent revenues. Adverse exchange rate movements reduced the rate of
growth in the quarter by around 2 percentage points.
Against a background of market conditions, which led brokers to exercise
considerable caution in making investment decisions - particularly in the
second half of the year, GL TRADE was able to draw strength from the market
positioning of its products and a business model based largely on recurrent
- GL TRADE's product range remains highly competitive against internal
projects by banks and the products of rival providers;
- GL TRADE continues to benefit from the growing use of electronic trading
platforms on financial markets, particularly in Asia, and the growing
success of standardised solutions at the expense of in-house development;
- GL TRADE continuously adapts to a changing market - offering clients
innovative solutions which reduce costs or allow the expansion of new
business areas that offset declining profitability in traditional ones, eg:
added-value view-only products like GL WINSIGHT, Order Management Systems
and STP (Straight Through Processing) suites.
Regional Breakdown of sales
GL TRADE continued its international expansion: sales generated outside
France accounted for 67% of the 2002 total, against 60% in 2001 and 52% in
2000. Asia, where GL TRADE's position was strengthened by the acquisition of
CGI in Japan, now accounts for 8% of total sales, with the US and Canada
accounting for 10%.
This increased international coverage has increased GL TRADE's exposure to
currency fluctuations, with 42% of sales coming from subsidiaries outside
the euro zone (57% of this in sterling, 22% in US dollars and 19% from
Asia ). Exchange rate movements between 2001 and 2002 reduced GL TRADE's
sales by â¬1.5m, cutting 1.4 points off the growth rate. As there was an
equivalent effect on costs, the impact on margin levels was limited.
Sales by product line
Over the year, growth was fairly evenly spread over the product lines, with
the exception of on-line and view-only solutions, which were hardest hit by
weak market conditions and saw only limited growth.
The STP range integrates the Order Management Systems based on Finsoft
products, for which five sales had been made by the end of 2002. Although
sales in 2002 remained marginal, this was a highly encouraging performance
in a poor economic climate which did little to encourage clients to make
this type of long-term investment.
- The early part of 2003 will show a clearer picture of the impact of the
current economic conditions on brokers' budgets worldwide. It seems
unlikely, given the number of cancellations / activity closures to date,
that the impact will be greater for GL TRADE than for 2002.
- Against this background, GL TRADE will focus its marketing on solutions
offering clients a rapid ROI, either in terms of increased business levels
(GL Net linked to new market access) or improved productivity and lower
costs (STP, GL WINSIGHT). To this end, the STP range will be strengthened
from March by the launch of an entry-level service bureau solution (ASP
model) for order intake. Lastly, a Matching Engine solution, offering
brokers full functionality for real time off-market order matching, will be
launched with a pilot client in April.
- Looking beyond these projects, GL TRADE is actively building partnerships
with various niche solution providers in complementary business areas
seeking to benefit from the leverage that GL TRADE's global network can
offer them. 2003 will be a year of partnership agreements and acquisitions
which allow us to strengthen our strategy in a significant way.
- GL TRADE forecasts growth of around 15% in 2003, at constant exchange
rates, with a net margin (before amortisation of goodwill) of around 13 %.
Accounts for 2002 will be published and commented on following the Board of
Directors Meeting on 4 March 2003.