Sopra Group announces an excellent performance in 2011

At its meeting of 14 February 2012 chaired by Pierre Pasquier, the Board of Directors of Sopra Group approved the audited annual accounts for the financial year 2011.

  • Revenue: €1,050.3m, organic growth of 8.0%
  • Operating profit on business activity: €92.5m, margin 8.8%
    • France: €83.5m, margin 9.6%
    • Europe: €9.0m, margin 4.9%
  • Operating profit: €97.9m, margin 9.3%
  • Net profit: €62.9m, margin 6.0%

 

Comments on business activity

Consolidated revenue amounted to €1,050.3 million in 2011, representing total growth of 9.2% and organic growth of 8.0%. Operating profit on business activity came to €92.5 million, representing a margin of 8.8%. Profit from recurring operations was €91.7 million, corresponding to a margin of 8.7%. After taking into account other operating income and expenses totalling €6.2 million (please refer to the appendix for complete details), operating profit totalled €97.9 million, corresponding to a margin of 9.3%. This is 60 basis points higher than the previous year. Net profit amounted to €62.9 million, representing a net margin of 6.0%.

In France, revenue amounted to €865.8 million (including a contribution from Delta-Informatique amounting to €9.3 million for the 4th quarter), representing total growth of 10.1% and organic growth of 8.6%. Operating profit on business activity came to €83.5 million, representing a margin of 9.6% (compared to 9.9% in 2010). In Europe, revenue amounted to €184.5 million, representing total growth of 5.2% and organic growth of 4.9% Operating profit on business activity was €9.0 million, representing a margin of 4.9% (compared to 4.3% in 2010).
The effects of the economic crisis which made a resurgence in August were contained. However, growth and margins in the 4th quarter were slightly affected. Considering the full year, the Group’s performance was supported by the high added-value offerings such as “build” and application outsourcing projects. Growth was maintained in all geographical areas, with high contributions from France and Italy. The verticals with the highest performance levels included transport, utilities, retail, manufacturing, telecoms and media.

At 31 December 2011, the Group’s total workforce was 12,610 persons, a rise of 960 persons compared to 31 December 2010, including the 280 employees of Delta-Informatique.

Financial position

At 31 December 2011, the Group’s financial position was sound with respect to both debt maturity and compliance with banking covenants.

After taking into account all transactions associated with the Axway spin-off, shareholders’ equity amounted to €273.9 million.
After two cash distributions totalling €56.1 million and payment for the acquisition of Delta-Informatique, net debt at year-end 2011 was €46.4 million. Axway repaid the full balance on its current account to Sopra Group, amounting to €60 million, at 19 July 2011, the date of Axway’s capital increase, to which Sopra Group contributed €16.2 million. The gearing ratio (net debt to equity) amounted to 17% or, for the purposes of calculating banking covenants which exclude employee profit sharing, 7%.

Net financial expense amounted to €3.5 million. Free cash flow amounted to €43.2 million for the year.

Proposed dividend 

During its next General Meeting, the Board of Directors of Sopra Group will propose the distribution of a €1.90 dividend per share for the financial year 2011, totalling €22.6 million.

Strategy

Following the successful spin-off and stock market listing of Axway, Sopra Group is now focused on its strategy in France and Europe. The Group reaffirms its ambition to reinforce its positioning in the following three high added-value activities: consulting, services and software development. In light of this ambition, it has adopted a business strategy which aims to:

  • Extend the Group’s leading position in the French market,
  • Develop a robust positioning in Europe,
  • Expand its solutions portfolio, primarily for the banking sector.

The recently announced acquisitions (please refer to the press release of 13 February 2012) or those currently under negotiation are perfectly in line with this strategy.

Outlook

Current market conditions do not permit the Group to provide precise forecast figures concerning its 2012 annual performance. However, the Group remains confident about its strategic choices and its business positioning and offerings which should allow it to outperform the market.

Financial calendar

Thursday, 16 February 2012 at 3.30pm: Analysts’ meeting at Hôtel Meurice, Paris.
Thursday, 3 May 2012 after the stock market close: Publication of first quarter revenue.

 
 

1 In order to ensure the comparability of the accounts, all of the items contributing to the operating profit of Axway have been grouped together in a single line item “Profit net of tax from discontinued operations” which is presented before the line “Net profit” in the income statement. Therefore, the data for 2010 restated relating to revenue and the various levels of operating profit only relate to the business carried out by Sopra Group and its European subsidiaries.
2 Axway fully consolidated.
3 Change calculated at constant exchange rates and group structure.
4 Profit from recurring operations before expenses related to stock options and amortisation expenses in respect of intangible assets allocated.
5 Calculated on the basis of the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue.
6 Gross cash flow from operations less tax paid, changes in working capital requirements, capital expenditures and net financial interest.