Business Irish

Sunday 19 November 2017

First Derivatives' sales up 22pc

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

SALES at Newry-based financial technology firm First Derivatives jumped by a fifth this year, led by increased revenues from the consulting arm of its business.

The company, headed up by chief executive and former County Down footballer Brian Conlon, provides software and consulting services to financial services companies around the world.

Its total sales reached £56.5m in the 12 months to February, up 22.5pc. Consulting activities made up £41m of this, up by a quarter on the previous year.

It signed 15 new consultancy customers over the year. Transactional and recurring revenue also jumped by just over a third.

The Northern Irish firm said other highlights of the year included its successful entry into the surveillance market and winning a tender from a major US investment bank.

However, the global shift towards tighter regulation was a challenge, with customers in banks under pressure to shore up their capital bases and cut costs.

Pre-tax profit was £7.8m, an increase of 7pc, though this does not take into account money set aside for once-off bad debts estimated at £1.2m, connected with its 2010 buyout of Dublin rival Cognotec. Earnings per share increased by 1.3pc over the period, to 38p a share.

The company is also trying to enter the big data market – which uses swathes of information collected about consumers,.

But chairman David Anderson said that even if successful these are unlikely to have any real impact in next year's results, because of the ways the company's revenue model is structured.

It also continued to tackle its large property holdings. Having bought multiple sites while it expanded, partly to house staff, the company has since decided this "was no longer entirely appropriate." It sold seven properties in the year, a profit of £0.7m. Another six were put up for sale by the end of February.

Pre-tax profit was £7.8m, an increase of 7pc, though this does not take into account money that has been set aside for once-off bad debts estimated at £1.2m, connected with its 2010 purchase out of receivership of Dublin rival Cognotec.

Earnings per share increased by 1.3pc over the period, to 38p a share. The company's share price were unchanged in afternoon trading yesterday, at €6.75.

Irish Independent

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