Comments on Q3 2015 business activity
Business activity in Q3 2015 generally followed the trend seen in first-half 2015.
In France, the Group had a good third quarter with revenue of €317.6 million, representing organic growth of 3.4%. It should be noted that the French scope benefited from one additional business day compared to last year.
- Consulting & Systems Integration showed good momentum (organic growth of 5.6%), with €269.4 million in revenue. This performance confirms the successful integration achieved between Sopra and Steria and illustrates the revenue synergies arising from the Group’s new positioning in the French market. All economic sectors contributed to this performance, including telecommunications, which returned to growth over the quarter. In this context, downtime between projects remained low and recruitment continued at a strong pace: this activity should see around 2,000 new hires by the end of 2015
- I2S (Infrastructure & Security Services) posted negative organic growth of 7.8%, with revenue of €48.2 million. In the IT infrastructure management business, for which the Group’s priority remains profitability, work continued on repositioning and increasing contract selectivity with a greater focus on added value. Some contracts were renewed and extended with this in mind over the quarter. The Cybersecurity business was once again boosted by strong momentum and major opportunities in its pipeline
In the United Kingdom, the Group’s quarterly revenue came to €256.7 million, representing negative organic growth of 2.4%. Growth was strong in the public sector, especially for joint ventures with the UK administration (NHS SBS and SSCL), and sales opportunities in these areas remain promising. In the private sector, the business decreased and some projects were postponed until 2016. For 2015 as a whole, business in the region should be stable given the growth expected in the fourth quarter.
In Other Europe, third-quarter revenue amounted to €162.0 million, representing organic growth of 8.7%. In Germany, the gradual improvement in operating performance continued with several major signings, particularly in the banking sector, enabling the country to post two consecutive quarters of growth for the first time since Q3 2013. Spain and Scandinavia continued to grow at a brisk pace, while Italy and Switzerland posted more modest growth. The BeLux (Belgium/Luxembourg) region was once again affected over the quarter by the end of the Schengen project.
Sopra Banking Software posted revenue of €63.8 million for the third quarter of 2015, representing organic growth of 10.8%. Growth was particularly strong in France, the Middle East / Africa region and the United Kingdom with the “Platform” and “Amplitude” products. This momentum illustrates the major role that products could play in the future in overhauling banks’ IT systems. Banks are looking to reduce their maintenance costs while keeping their systems agile and in step with developments in the digital realm. With this in mind, the Group continued steadily investing in research and development. It should be noted that the base of comparison for Q4 2015 will be high as a result of the contract signed with La Banque Postale in Q4 2014.
The Other Solutions division was buoyant with organic growth of 8.3% for the quarter and €45.7 million in revenue. Growth was strong for both Sopra HR Software and the property management solutions.
At 30 September 2015, the Group’s total workforce comprised 37,031 people (37,358 people as of 31 December 2014), with 17.9% assigned to X-Shore zones.
Changes in scope
CIMPA, a company specialising in PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) which joined the Group on 1 October 2015, will be consolidated as of Q4 2015. Revenue for this entity, in Q4 2014, was €27.6 million.
At the end of Q3 2015, Sopra Steria confirmed its 2015 targets: organic revenue growth of around 2.0% and an operating margin on business activity of around 6.5%.
Monday, 29 February 2016: Presentation of 2015 annual results – 9:00 a.m. / Shangri-La Hotel, Paris.