Software AG reports continuous growth in first quarter of 2007
* Group revenue rises 10% to EUR124.7 million. * Licensing revenues grow 40% to EUR46.9 million. * Operating result (EBIT) increases by 16% to EUR25 million. * Earnings per share (EPS) improves by 24% to EUR0.63.
Software AG continued to expand in the first quarter of 2007, reporting a 10% increase in group revenue to EUR124.7 million, 15% at constant currency rates.
Growth in the first quarter was primarily driven by a 40% rise in licensing revenues to EUR46.9 million (51% net of currency effects). Profitability also improved in the first quarter, the operating result (EBIT) rose by 16% to EUR25 million while the EBIT margin improved by more than one percentage point to 20%.
The increase in net earnings of 24% to EUR17.8 million, significantly higher than the previous year, demonstrated Software AG's successful start to fiscal 2007. (Software AG is listed on the Frankfurt TecDAX: SOW)
Substantial growth in revenue thanks to higher licensing revenues
Total revenue rose by 10% to EUR124.7 million in the first quarter of 2007 (15% at constant currency rates). Software AG's total revenue comprises product revenue (licences and maintenance) and service revenue, and is generated by the two business lines Crossvision and Enterprise Transaction Systems (ETS). ETS generated 71% of revenue and Crossvision 29%. The significant rise in revenue was largely a result of the persistently strong growth of product revenue, which increased by 13% (20% net of currency effects) to EUR91.4 million.
Licensing revenues exhibited especially dynamic growth, improving by 40% (51% at constant currency rates) to EUR46.9 million (Q1 2006: EUR33.4 million). In the professional services business, Software AG generated revenues totalling EUR32.6 million, up from EUR32.2 million in the first quarter in 2006.
The rapidly growing Crossvision business line, which specialises in products for the company-wide integration of business processes and applications, recorded in the first quarter its most significant growth in revenue to date. Total revenue from Crossvision in this period rose by 33% to EUR36.4 million. Driven by the doubling of licensing revenues, Crossvision generated EUR20 million product revenue (licences and maintenance), representing a 51% rise.
The very strong growth in licensing revenues at Crossvision was a consequence of the signing of several major contracts, including Mapfre, one of the largest insurance companies in Spain. In the professional services business, Software AG generated revenues of EUR15.9 million in the integration sector, which was 17% higher than a year earlier.
Total revenue from the data management business ETS amounted to EUR88.3 million (Q1 2006: EUR86.5 million). This includes product revenue of EUR71.4 million (an increase of 6% year on year, or a currency-adjusted 12%). Services and other revenue amounted to EUR16.9 million (Q1 2006: EUR18.9 million).
"Our growth is continuing in 2007. The success of our new Crossvision business line reflects our strong position in the market for service-oriented architectures (SOA) and is a significant step in the direction of SOA market leadership," says Karl-Heinz Streibich, CEO of Software AG.
Increase of EBIT margin on plan
The EBIT margin developed according to plan: at 20%, it was more than one percentage point higher than in the first quarter of 2006. The company achieved this further improvement in earnings with the rise in the proportion of licensing revenues to total revenue and a continued optimisation of its business processes. EBIT rose 16% to EUR25 million.
Net income, earnings per share rise further
Earnings after taxes improved by 24% year on year, reaching EUR17.8 million in the first quarter. This led to a corresponding rise in earnings per share to EUR0.63. The average number of shares outstanding amounted to 28.3 million at the end of the quarter, up from 28 million a year earlier.
Good financial indicators, strong cash flow
On 31 March 2007, shareholders' equity amounted to EUR444.9 million, representing a 5% increase from year-end 2006. The equity-to-assets ratio remained constant at 65%. The continued increase in cash and cash equivalents (EUR211.2 million on 31 March 2007, up from EUR184.8 million on 31 December 2006) reflects the persistently strong cash-flow from operating activities. Operational cash-flow was EUR23.3 million, while free cash-flow was EUR22.2 million. This represents 18% of the revenue generated, or EUR0.79 per share.
"Our tremendous success in the licensing business, coupled with sustained cost management and a continued improvement of business processes, has made it possible for us to further increase our EBIT margin," says Arnd Zinnhardt, CFO of Software AG. "We're well on the way to more than doubling our earnings in the next five years."
The figures for the first quarter confirm the company's previous projections for the year 2007. The forecast called for an increase in revenue by 14% (net of currency effects) and a rise in the EBIT margin by one percentage point to 24%. The acquisition of the Israeli distributor SPL will be reflected on the books of Software AG as of the second quarter.
This overall projection will be reviewed again after the successful acquisition of the US software manufacturer webMethods (the public tender offer is currently in process).