Business Irish

Monday 18 November 2019

North's First Derivatives sees turnover soar 44pc as it adds jobs

Donal O'Donovan

NORTHERN Ireland's First Derivatives saw turnover soar 44pc last year and is adding jobs on both sides of the Border, according to its latest results.

Shares in the London Stock Exchange traded company closed up 2.54pc last night at £5.05 each, valuing the 15-year-old business at £77.6m (€89.5m).

First Derivatives saw turnover rise 44.2pc to £36.74m in the 12 months to the end of February last year and boosted job numbers from 385 to 550 since February 2010.

The Newry-based company, which has offices in Dublin and Belfast, provides software and consulting services to global banks and hedge funds.

Last night Brian Conlon, the founder and ceo of First Derivatives, said his company was on course to add another 360 jobs over the next three years.

He said the company had global reach.

"It's a bit unusual to be in Newry but we're halfway between Dublin and Belfast so we can dip into a huge pool of graduates," Mr Conlon told the Irish Independent last night.

Around two-thirds of revenue comes from consultancy work, which focuses mainly on helping large organisations use complex financial IT systems.


The company's software division is increasingly important, however.

Software revenues more than doubled last year to £12.5m. Consultancy sales were up by a quarter to £24.2m.

The company has made a number of acquisitions over the past 12 months but Mr Conlon said the bulk of revenue increases were a result of organic growth.

The ceo said the company would target additional bolt-on acquisitions on an opportunistic basis and as the balance sheet allowed it to execute deals.

Small technology companies and start-ups with good products but limited access to bank funding were the prime takeover targets, he said.

Last year the company announced three corporate takeovers, including a deal to buy Cognotec for more than €3m.

The latest results are the 15th year of growth for First Derivatives, and annual growth has averaged 46pc over the past seven years.

In March, First Derivatives announced plans to create 359 new jobs over the next three years thanks to £4.3m in funding from the development agency Invest Northern Ireland.

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