“Atos Origin – Third Quarter Revenue 2003 Revenue in line with expectations: Net debt again reduced”
PARIS/AMSTERDAM - November 14th, 2003
Atos Origin, a leading international information technology services provider, today announced that revenues for the third quarter of 2003 amounted to EUR 717 million, a decrease of 2.4% compared with the same period in 2002. On a constant scope and exchange rate basis, revenues fell by 6.6%, reflecting some continuing price pressure in Consulting and parts of the Systems Integration market. The European market for IT services continues to be variable in the near-term, although there are clear signs of a modest improvement emerging.
The Group's net debt fell to EUR 364 million and is expected to be below the target of EUR 350 million by December 31st, 2003.
The appendix to this statement shows revenues by service line and geographic region.
Analysis of Revenue Performance
In Consulting, reported revenues showed a significant year-on-year increase, although there was an underlying organic decline after adjusting for the acquisition of Atos KPMG Consulting, which was consolidated for only one month in the same period in 2002. The decline reflects continuing pressure on prices and some adverse exchange impact, although volumes have started to stabilize and order prospects are improving. Ownership of Atos KPMG Consulting has markedly improved the Group's commercial profile in countries such as the UK and helped to grow the order pipeline and we expect to see this reflected in an improving order book position by early 2004.
Although Systems Integration revenues were EUR 31 million lower year-on-year (-11%), there was a modest 4% improvement in volume, more than offset by pricing erosion. The figures were also affected by some adverse impact from exchange rates. Pricing pressure remains at its strongest in those low-end parts of the market where there is little differentiation in service offering. It remains Atos Origin's policy in the medium-long term to phase out of some of those areas and concentrate on providing high added value services in specialist parts of the market.
Managed Operations showed a decline of around 5%, both year on year and sequentially. This was due partly to exchange rates and partly to the de-consolidation of the group's document management and check processing business with effect from September 1st, 2003. Revenues were also affected adversely by some seasonality factors, especially in desktop support.
In France, revenues showed a slightly steeper decline year-on-year than in the first half due to the sale and de-consolidation of the document management and check processing business. However, parts of the Systems Integration business were also weaker than expected during the summer period. There was a similar situation in parts of The Netherlands and in the UK.
Net debt fell during the period from EUR 386 million at the end of June to EUR 364 million by the end of September, largely due to the receipt of EUR 20 million from the disposal of the French document management and check processing business. Given the seasonally strong profitability and cash flow expected in the fourth quarter, the Group believes that net debt will be below its target of EUR 350 million by the end of December 2003.
Acquisition of SchlumbergerSema
On September 22nd, 2003 the Group announced that it will acquire SchlumbergerSema. Clearance was received from the European Competition Authority as expected on November 11th and we will now advance with the process of preparing detailed integration plans and the budget for 2004. For the past month Management has been engaged in an intensive process of visiting operational locations worldwide in order to agree and communicate the organizational structure of the new group at all levels, in line with the action plan presented at the time of announcement. We have also made good progress in finalizing our debt refinancing arrangements.
The Group intends to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders on Friday 9th January, 2004 to approve the transaction, following which, closing will take place in mid-January.
In the short-term, pricing pressure continues to affect both the Consulting and Systems Integration markets although volumes, especially in SI, are now stabilizing. When combined with some negative impact from exchange rate movements, the Group's reported revenues for 2003 may be slightly lower than in 2002.
The Group remains focussed on profitability and strong cash flow and still expects the operating margin for 2003 to exceed 8% as a result of continuous action to minimize the cost base and improve productivity. The performance in reducing net debt has been good and the year-end debt figure is likely to be below the target we established at the start of this year.
Bernard Bourigeaud, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Management Board commented:
"The acquisition of SchlumbergerSema is a major strategic move for Atos Origin that will strengthen our position within Europe and establish us as a major player in the global IT Services market. Our immediate focus is on ensuring that the integration of the two businesses is carried out swiftly and effectively and while there will undoubtedly be some limited short-term disruption, I believe that it will deliver real benefits for our clients and shareholders."
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, Unilever, Vivendi Universal, Vodafone and Wolters Kluwer.
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ANALYSIS OF REPORTED REVENUE
by Service Line
3 Months ended September 30th
|Less: Exchange Rate impact|
|At Constant Scope and Exchange Rates||666.6||713.4||-6.6%|
by Geographic Region
3 Months ended September 30th