Sunday 24 June 2018

Revenue to hit €136m at Irish tech giant

Brian Conlon of First Derivatives
Brian Conlon of First Derivatives

Michael Cogley and Margaret Canning

Northern software provider First Derivatives expects to beat analysts' expectations with revenue of £109.5m (€136.7m) in its financial year ending February 29.

In a trading update issued to shareholders this morning the Newry-based firm - the North's biggest listed company - expects earnings before interest tax depreciation (EBITDA) and amortisation of £22.1m for the financial year.

The firm said it continued strong trading into the second half of the year with both increased demand in its consulting and software businesses.

First Derivatives said consulting revenue grew strongly in the second half of the year with a high level of contracted revenue as well as sizeable new customer wins.

Chief executive Brian Conlon said the firm made "strong progress" during the year. "In consulting, our increasing scale and breadth of expertise is enabling us to get involved earlier in the change life cycle within our clients, leading to deeper and more strategic relationships."

The company said its traditional financial services market experienced strong demand after it signed a record number of contract wins in the second half of the year.

"In software, our market-leading capability in analysing large volumes of data in real time is increasingly understood and as a result we have experienced an acceleration of contract wins during the past year.

"We look forward to updating shareholders further when we announce our full year results," Mr Conlon said.

Goodbody Stockbrokers analyst Gerry Hennigan said the firm's positive momentum is likely to continue into 2017.

"The statement from First Derivatives clearly indicates a continuation of positive upward momentum reflected in year-on-year revenue growth in excess of around 40pc and EBITDA growth of around 50pc."

First Derivatives acquired big data consultancy firm QuantumKDB for €2.9m in January, however the firm believes its earnings potential won't be realised until next year.

In the first half of its financial year the firm also bought Affinity Systems and ActivateClients for a combined initial consideration of £7.1m.

Brian Conlon set up the company in 1996 in a spare bedroom in his mother's house in the Co Down town.

In 2014, it created 484 new jobs at its Newry base, after it received £3.9m from Invest NI, bringing the global total of its workforce to almost 1,500.

In January this year the firm revealed it paid £2.2m for English consultancy firm QuantumKDB. The firm was founded in 2011 by chief executive Kieran Lucid and provides consulting in the UK, US and Hong Kong.

Irish Independent

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