First Derivatives has described its half-year trading performance as “resilient” and said it was “excited” by future growth opportunities, including those presented by the current pandemic.
Reporting for the six months to 31st August 2020, a half-year covering virtually the entire COVID-19 period, the company said it increased it sales by 2.5 per cent from £116.7 million to £119.6 million.
And despite its pre-tax profit enduring a double digit percentage drop from £8.4m to £7.4 million a year earlier, First Derivatives managed to virtually halve its debt (excluding lease obligations) to £30.6m from £60.2m.
First Derivatives operates from 15 offices across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, including its headquarters in Newry, Co. Down and employs more than 2,400 people worldwide.
The company revealed it had paused graduate recruitment in March in response to the COVID-19 outbreak but has resumed hiring to keep pace with growing demand, with 41 new graduates recruited last month alone.
Among the performance highlights over the period, a 12 per cent software license growth drove total software revenue up 4 per cent to £74.4m.
Managed services and consulting revenue were in line with the previous period at £45.2m, with FD’s strategic client relationships and market-leading services protecting its revenue base and providing a solid foundation for a return to growth.
And the release of version 4.0 of its Kx technology further advanced the firm’s performance by five times over the previous version.
The interim results also showed that FD’s research and development costs rose 37 per cent to £7.7m from £5.6m while finance expenses rose 54 per cent to £2.5m from £1.6m.
Donna Troy, Chair of First Derivatives said:
“During the period we have demonstrated the Group’s resilience while continuing to focus on the considerable opportunity ahead. It is clear that the use of data, particularly streaming operational data, to drive decision-making will become critical for enterprises and COVID-19 will accelerate this trend uncertainty throughout the world.”
“Kx technology is ideally placed to be the streaming analytics software of choice that customers and partners trust to solve their most demanding and complex data challenges and it is our mission to capitalise on that opportunity.”
“With our new leadership teams in place following a number of senior appointments we are making good progress on our strategic objectives, with enhancements to our internal structures and go-to-market capabilities as well as our technology roadmap.”
“While the current year outcome remains difficult to predict, we are excited by the potential of our business and the capability to significantly accelerate our growth.”