Belgian financial solutions company, BSB, has announced an increase in revenues to 34.9 million EUR, up by 13% compared to 2010. Despite the ongoing challenges of the global economy, BSB continued to invest in the foundations to support continued growth in 2012, as well as maintaining its target of ranking in Europe’s top 5 financial software providers. Overall, however, its results reflected the ongoing market difficulties, with the company recording an overall loss for the year at an EBIT of -2.5 million EUR and an EBITDA of -785,000 EUR.
BSB’s counter-performance is directly attributed to two key factors, involving a significant investment programme during 2011, in anticipation of an increased workload, which did not materialise in the envisaged timescale. The second contributing factor was the year-end economic downturn, which led many customers and prospects universally to postpone their software investment programmes.
CEO Jean Martin remains confident that BSB will perform well in the coming year, commenting: “This loss does not put our strategy into question, nor does it affect our goal to place our software solutions amongst the European Top 5, and subsequently amongst the Global Top 5. Despite a challenging economic situation, we completed three significant investments to help sustain our growth during 2012: We launched our SaaS (Software as a Service) platform, expanded our sales force, and opened five local offices or subsidiaries. We will maintain our investment programme, despite the market challenges, as a key part of our strategic vision for the next five years. We have, however, made the decision to reduce our operating costs by 7%, in order to take into account the market slowdown, which represents a saving of some 3 million EUR.
“The trend in the insurance and asset management industries to outsource IT operations is accelerating, and our new SaaS (Software as a Service) platform puts us in an excellent position to benefit from this development. Importantly, our Solfia subsidiary, which markets our SaaS solution, has been granted PSF (Financial Sector Professional) status by the financial regulator in Luxembourg. We believe that SaaS will represent a key element of our portfolio in the future and will contribute progressively to our revenue streams in the coming months and years.
“Simultaneously, we are accelerating the focus on our software activity and on projects where we can demonstrate a competitive edge, deploying the knowledge and expertise acquired with the Soliam and Solife packages, as well as with our SAP activity. Good examples of this in practice are the Internet front-end projects we are involved with for a number of insurance companies and asset management organisations. Above all, our goal is to maintain our reputation for innovation by continuing to enrich the content and functionality of our products, providing us with the concrete means of ahead of our competition.”
During 2011, BSB substantially extended its sales network across Europe, opening subsidiaries and offices in four regions - Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The company also further expanded its customer base, which now numbers more than 100 companies in 23 countries in Europe, around the Mediterranean and in North Africa. This geographical expansion is anticipated to contribute significantly to revenue growth in future.