Sunday 17 December 2017

Software firm First Derivatives to hire 400 graduates

First Derivatives chief Brian Conlon
First Derivatives chief Brian Conlon

Ellie Donnelly and Donal O'Donovan

First Derivatives will take on 400 graduate recruits this year, in what is understood to be the biggest programme of its kind on the island of Ireland.

The planned intake is up from 300 last year, CEO Brian Conlon said yesterday. The stock-market-listed software and consulting business has a global headquarters in Newry with offices in London, New York, Stockholm, Philadelphia and Dublin and in other global locations.

The business has 1750 staff worldwide, "largely recruited on the island of Ireland," Mr Conlon said.

He was speaking after First Derivatives reported a 30pc rise in sales in the year to the end of February.

Revenue in the period was £151.7m (€136m), up from £117m over the same period a year earlier - and surpassed the company's own expectation.

Pre-tax profits were also up by a fifth to £12.5m. A full year dividend of 20 pence per share is up 20pc from last year.

The company, founded by Newry-born Mr Conlon, provides software, consulting and data analytics products and services, initially to the investment banking sector but increasingly to non-financial sectors where demand for real-time data analytics is rising - including precision engineering, and the defence and space sectors.

The company, whose Irish operations straddle the Border, has a strategy in place to deal with Brexit, Mr Conlon said yesterday.

First Derivatives counts 19 out of the 20 biggest global investment banks among its customers, and weathered the global financial crisis intact, he said. Cash flow in the business is very strong, supporting further investment in research and development and to fund organic growth, as well as potentially to consider acquisitions, Mr Conlon said.

First Derivatives shares closed down 0.78pc at 2,540pence each yesterday, having hit a five year high of 2,749 in March.

Irish Independent

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