This strong performance was due mainly to rapid growth in Asia and to Ubitradeâs risk management business. The latter included a high level of non-recurring consultancy fees during the first half.
On a constant scope basis and at constant exchange rates, turnover was down 2.7%.
Regional breakdown of turnover
The âtradingâ business in Europe continued to suffer from the contraction of the financial intermediary market, particularly in France and Italy, where turnover on a constant scope basis fell by 10% and 14% respectively. However
this shrinkage (7.6% over the whole of Europe excluding France) has been offset by the strength of markets in countries like Belgium, Luxembourg,
Spain, Switzerland and above all, Russia, which has produced a very promising early performance (â¬0.5m in the first half of 2005).
In the Americas, turnover rose by 6.5% on a constant scope and exchange rate basis. Davidge Data Systems, whose access to US markets offers
strong synergy with GL TRADEâs offering in the USA, added USD2.6m to turnover, producing total growth in the region of 38%. The acquisition of Oasis in early July will provide a further boost to growth in this region during the 2nd half of 2005.
Asia is currently the region where the group is seeing the fastest growth. It accounted for 12% of total turnover, and saw organic growth of nearly 28% at constant perimeter and exchange rates. The group is continuing to extend its local presence, and in June opened an office in Taiwan. GL TRADE is now a major local player, with a presence in 5 countries in Asia and the Pacific Rim.
A profitable diversification strategy
Ubitradeâs very strong performance in the first half, with turnover totalling â¬15.5m (â¬3.9m in France, â¬2m in Germany and â¬6.8m in the Netherlands), confirms the benefits of GL TRADEâs strategy of diversification into back office systems. In particular the distribution of Fermatâs product range (banking risk) enjoyed a record six months, with turnover of â¬7.8m, although
this included low margin sub-contracted non-recurring consulting business.
GL SETTLE expanded its settlement business in equities and generated turnover of â¬3.2m, which was stable on the first half of 2004.
These figures allow us to confirm the turnover growth target of 15% to 20% at constant exchange rates over the full year. Our margin targets for the year remain unchanged at 12% to 13% for net margin and 18% to 19% for EBITA margin. As expected, margins will be narrower in the first half, reflecting the costs of integrating and rationalising Ubitrade and Davidge.
Final results for the first half will be published on 1 September 2005. The half-yearly presentation to analysts (SFAF) will also take place on 1 September (Palais Brongniart â Small Auditorium).