In the first semester of 2008, Linedata Services experienced a turnover of â¬84.3m, growth of 8.8% and +15.8% at a constant rate of exchange.
The EBITDA rose to â¬12.8m, representing a margin of 15.1%. This improvement is related to the volume and above average use of Â«offshoreÂ» resources.
The Â«amortization and provisionsÂ» item has been stable which made it possible for the EBIT to grow by 20.3% to â¬8.6m representing an operating margin of 10.2%. The net half yearly result comes to â¬5.3m, or a net margin in excess of 6%.
The group generated â¬9.6m in operational cash flow in the first semester (+18.5%) which made it possible to reduce the net debt by â¬1.2m in comparison to the end of 2007 to â¬28.7m. This now represents 29.6% of the consolidated own funds.
Performance per geographic zone
In Southern Europe, the EBITDA margin came to 16.7% which is a significant increase in comparison to the same period in 2007, thanks to the leverage effect of growth on costs in the Leasing & Credit Finance and Life Insurance activities. The group shall pursue its growth in these two sectors over the next few months.
However, given the significant reduction in turnover from the employee savings schemes linked to the end of the NOEE migration, the group forecasts a slight downturn in the turnover over the second semester for that region.
In Northern Europe/Asia, Linedata Services experienced a downturn in its turnover of 16.6% (-5.1% at a constant rate of exchange). This decrease is mainly due to the effect of unfavourable comparison basis in the hedge fund segment, where a significant number of perpetual licences had been paid in the first quarter of 2007. The EBITDA margin has as a result experienced a significant decrease of 8.2%.
For the second semester the group aims for a turnover which is close to the one performed in the second semester of 2007 despite the possible downturn in sales in the hedge fund segment.
In North America, with a turnover growing by 8% as per published data (+24.7% at a constant rate of exchange), Linedata Services has significantly improved its EBITDA margin in relation to the first semester of 2007. The Front Office LongView and LyNX/LAP connection solutions are the principal reasons for this performance.
Over the second part of the financial year, the positive trend in the North America zone should be confirmed, a trend which will be even more far-reaching if the recent gains of the dollar continue.
For the overall financial year and despite the uncertain business environment, the group confirms its expectations of moderate growth and improvement of its profitability ratios. This profitability goal includes in its prognosis the realisation of a certain number of perpetual licence signings prior to the end of the financial year which are still being negotiated.
*EBITDA is the Group's key indicator. It is defined as Gross Operating Profit plus other operating income minus other operating expenses.
Linedata Services shall publish its turnover in the 3rd quarter of 2008, on November 6 after market.