“Atos Origin – 2003, First Half Results: Solid Profitability. Revenue in line with expectations and net debt again reduced”
PARIS/AMSTERDAM - September 10th, 2003
Atos Origin, a leading international information technology services provider, today announced that revenues for the half year ended June 30th, 2003 amounted to EUR 1,543 million, an increase of 3.8% compared with the first half of 2002. Operating margin for the period was 7.9% and earnings per share before goodwill amortization were EUR 1.21. Net debt reduced to EUR 386 million.
Extract from the Chief Executive's Review
Our results for the first six months of 2003 are closely in line with the promises we communicated at the Annual General Meeting in May. Trading conditions in the European IT services market are starting to show some signs of recovery but they are unlikely to improve significantly before 2004. Nevertheless our financial performance has remained solid. This has been due largely to the stability and high visibility of our Managed Operations activities, together with tight control of our cost base, strong cash generation as a result of effective working capital management and, above all, the constant support and energy of our staff.
Revenues for the period amounted to EUR 1,543 million, which represented an increase of 3.8% compared with the same period last year. The group benefited from a first time revenue contribution from Atos KPMG Consulting, which was offset by a further decline in Systems Integration. Both the Consulting and Systems Integration markets continued to experience pricing pressure in the second quarter, although at a lesser rate. The volume declines experienced during the current cycle appear to have leveled off and are now improving slightly, and total group revenues were closely in line with our expectations. Managed Operations revenues were stable in comparison with the second half of 2002 and recurring business now makes up over 55% of total group revenues, including the application maintenance part of our systems integration business.
The operating margin for the first half was 7.9%. Profitability was below expectations in the first quarter of this year, largely due to the carry-over impact of pricing pressure and weak demand in the market during the second half of last year. However, a continuous focus on reducing our cost base and streamlining our organization paid dividends in the second quarter, with the operating margin rebounding sharply to 8.5%.
Net income was lower than last year due to higher interest and goodwill amortization costs relating to the acquisition of Atos KPMG Consulting last year and to higher restructuring costs than we incurred in the first half of 2002.
Cash flow continues to be strong. Net debt fell to EUR 386 million at June 30th, 2003 and we are well on the way towards our target of reducing debt to EUR 350 million by the end of this financial year.
Sales in France remained resilient in spite of a general weakness in the local market. Nearly two-thirds of our sales in France are generated by Managed Operations, thereby providing revenue stability, good order visibility and profitability. Systems Integration was also sound because much of our business is in specialist areas such as the development of exchange systems for Euronext, payment systems for the financial services market and sophisticated communication systems for organizations such as EADS/Airbus. During the first half we won several significant orders, with clients such as Redcats/Pinault Printemps Redoute and Linedata Services.
Sales in The Netherlands in the first half were nearly 10% higher than for the same period last year. The last of the three KPN contracts was signed during the second half of 2002 and contributed for the first time in this period, as did Atos KPMG Consulting in the Netherlands. In spite of the fact that Philips has continued to cut its IT costs during the first half, there has been an encouraging flow of new orders from Heineken, Eneco, Akzo Nobel and others, which is helping to push Dutch revenues towards our primary target of EUR 1 billion per annum.
Reported revenues in the United Kingdom rose sharply from EUR 71 million to EUR 171 million due to the consolidation of Atos KPMG Consulting. Whilst pricing and exchange rate pressures undermined the sequential performance of the Consulting business, it is clear that our profile in the UK has substantially increased and that this is having a very positive impact on the order pipeline.
Performance in Germany has stabilized after a difficult 2002 and our German operation has won important orders with Bayer, Weidmueller and Vodafone during the period. Elsewhere, trading remains at best flat and in some countries revenue is still showing a negative trend sequentially. In the Middle East, where last year we completed a major SAP roll-out for Saudi Aramco, operations were disrupted in the first half by the political situation in the region.
Our activities in The Americas and Asia Pacific remain focused on supporting the extended operations of our key clients in those regions. Both were negatively impacted by exchange rate factors in the first half, as well as by the transfer back to Europe by Philips of several infrastructure activities. We are continuing to expand our operations in some lower cost parts of these regions - including India, China and Brazil - to provide cost effective support for many of our European and North American clients. We intend to continue these initiatives in line with our clients' needs.
The Group is now seeing some signs of a market recovery, although this is unlikely to occur before 2004. Consequently, we are still projecting modest reported revenue growth this year, which will be generated primarily by the consolidation of Atos KPMG Consulting for a full 12-month period, offset by some revenue erosion in Systems Integration and the adverse impact of exchange rate movements. In terms of full year profitability, we expect the group's operating margin to exceed 8%.
In spite of the fact that our working capital performance in the first half tends to be seasonally weaker than in the second half, net debt has fallen from EUR 440 million at the start of this year to EUR 386 million at June 30th, 2003. We are therefore well on track to reduce that figure to EUR 350 million by the end of this financial year, representing a gearing level of 45% at current equity levels. We are also comfortably able to finance our foreseeable operational needs and meet our debt repayment obligations.
September 10th, 2003
About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology services provider. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations, including outsourcing and on-line services. In August 2002, Atos Origin acquired KPMG Consulting in the UK and The Netherlands, trading as Atos KPMG Consulting. The company generates annual revenues of EUR 3 billion and employs 28,000 staff in 30 countries. The Group's client list includes major companies such as ABN AMRO, Akzo-Nobel, Alstom, BNP Paribas, BP, Euronext, Fiat, ICI, ING, KPN, Lucent, Philips, Renault, Royal Bank of Scotland, Saudi Aramco, Shell, UBS Warburg, Unilever, Vivendi Universal, Vodafone and Wolters Kluwer.
+ 33 (1) 49 00 96 33
+ 33 (1) 49 00 96 64
CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT
(In EUR millions)
6 months ended June 30th, 2003
6 months ended June 30th, 2002
12 months ended Dec 31st, 2002
Operating costs and expenses
Income from operations
% of revenue
Net financial expense
Net income on ordinary activities
Corporate income tax
Net income before equity affiliates, minority interests and amortization of goodwill
Share in income of equity affiliates
Net income – Group Share before amortization of goodwill
% of revenue
Amortization of goodwill
Net income – Group Share
% of revenue
Net earnings per share
Weighted average number of shares
Earnings per share before amortization of goodwill
Basic earnings per share
Diluted average number of shares
Earnings per share before amortization of goodwill
Diluted earnings per share