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Bull announces its results for the first six months of 2007
Sustained growth in the second quarter
EBIT in line with target

Key figures for first six months of 2007:

  • Consolidated revenues at comparable structure* up 4.6% to €550.2 million, versus €525.8 million for the same period in 2006; the published figure for the first six months of 2006 was €559.2 million
  • At comparable structure*, revenues for Services and Solutions activities grew by 13.5%, while Maintenance activities increased by 3.2%
  • At comparable structure*, revenues from Products activities remained stable versus the first half of 2006, with growth of 2.9% recorded in Q2 2007
  • Gross margin of €135.1 million, representing 24.6% of revenues, is 0.7 percentage points lower than the published figure for the same period in 2006, due to a changing Products/Services business mix


  • EBIT (see glossary) of €9.5 million, representing 1.7% of revenues, while the published figure for 2006 was €9.3 million
  • Operating profit of €7.2 million, compared with a loss of €2.8 million for the same period in 2006
  • Net income of €4.5 million, representing an increase of 15% on the same period in 2006
  • Group net cash (see glossary) of €189 million as at June 30 2007

Outlook: the Group confirms its target EBIT (see glossary) for the full financial year 2007 is in the range €20 million to €24 million

Paris, August  1, 2007 -

Revenues for the first half of 2007 totaled €550.2 million, representing a fall of 1.6% compared with the published figure for the same period in 2006. Nevertheless, at comparable structure*, revenues grew by 4.6%. Gross margin was €135.1 million, representing 24.6% of revenues, versus with €141.3 million, or 25.3% of revenues for the same period in the previous year. EBIT (see glossary) was €9.5 million, representing 1.7% of revenues. This compares with the published EBIT figure for the first half of 2006, of €9.3 million. Operating profit was €7.2 million, versus a loss of €2.8 million published for the same period in the previous year. Bull recorded net income of €4.5 million, up 15%.

Commenting on these results, Didier Lamouche, Bull's Chairman and CEO, said: "In the first half of this year, the growth in our revenues at comparable structure, and the fact that we have maintained a good level of operating profit, reflect the continuing benefits of the action plan we launched in the second half of 2006."
"We are continuing to refocus our portfolio of activities with, on the one hand, the sale of our Portuguese subsidiary whose offering no longer fitted with our strategic priorities, and on the other hand, the acquisition of the Spanish IT services company Siconet, whose skills and customer base will significantly strengthen our Services business. In the area of infrastructure solutions, we fundamentally overhauled our product range during the first six months of 2007: a move that puts us in a favorable position for the coming business quarters."

Financial results for the first six months of 2007

Unless otherwise indicated, year-on-year comparisons are made between equivalent six-month periods and on the basis of a comparable structure*

Consolidated revenues at comparable structure* up 4.6% to €550.2 million, versus €525.8 million for the same period in 2006; the published figure for the first six months of 2006 was €559.2 million

Revenues from the Group's three main business activities - Services and Solutions, Maintenance, and Products - either grew or remained stable. The acquisitions made by the Group in 2006 contributed to revenue growth to the extent of 1.3 points.

At comparable structure*, revenues from Services and Solutions grew by 13.5%, while those from the Maintenance business increased by 3.2%

The Group's Services and Solutions business posted growth of 13.5 %, still above the market trend, with revenues of €173 million at their highest level since 2003. The Maintenance business, which recorded growth of 3.8% in Q1, continued its progress in Q2. Overall the increase in revenues from Maintenance was 3.2% across the first six months of 2007, confirming that the Group's actions taken in 2006 - to introduce a new worldwide organization and differentiating offerings - were appropriate.

At comparable structure*, revenues from Products activities remained stable versus the first half of 2006, with growth of 2.9% recorded in Q2 2007

Revenues from the Products business in the first half of 2007 remained stable, at €257 million, whereas they were in decline both in the first six months of 2006 (in comparison with the first half of 2005) and in the second half of 2006 (compared with the same period in 2005).

Gross margin of €135.1 million, representing 24.6% of revenues, is 0.7 percentage points lower than the published figure for the same period in 2006, due to a changing Products/Services business mix

The strong growth (+13,5%) of the services and solutions activity, of which the margin rate is 11,2%, and the stability of the products activity, of which the margin rate is 32,0%, explain the 0.7 point fall in gross margin. It is worth noting that Services and Solutions margins improved by 0.8 point in the first half of 2007 compared with the same period in 2006.

EBIT (see glossary) of €9.5 million, representing 1.7% of revenues, while the published figure for 2006 was €9.3 million

Selling, general and administrative expenses - expressed as a percentage of revenues - fell by 0.7 percentage points, to €102.3 million as against the figure of €108.0 million published in 2006. R&D expenses fell slightly from the figure of €24.1 million published for the first half of 2006, to € 23.0 million for H1 2007.

EBIT (see glossary) was €9.5 million, compared with the €9.3 million published for the first six months of 2006.

Operating profit was €7.2 million, compared with the operating loss of €2.8 million published for the same period in 2006
Net income was €4.5 million, representing a 15% increase on the figure published for H1 2006

Net income includes products and non-recurring operational expenses of €4.1 million, consisting mainly of the capital gain realized on the sale of Bull Portugal and a capital gain on the sale of shares in Arkoon. Net income also includes a restructuring charge of €6.4 million intended to help the Group in continuing to reduce its cost base. The increase in net financial charges compared with 2006 is explained by a reduction in deposit notes, which have been partly replaced since November 2006 by OPCVM notes. Fair value adjustments regarding these notes at the end of June 2007 amount to approximately €1.7 million in shareholders' equity.

Group net cash (see glossary) stood at €189 million, as at 30 June 2007

The unfavorable change in working capital requirements during the period, which was anticipated, led to a negative operating cashflow of €15.5 million. The working capital increase reflects most notably costs on a systems integration contract in the US for which the payment will not be forthcoming until 2008, on the one hand, and on the other by the partial delivery of a High-Performance Computing (HPC) contract in France. During the same period, non-recurring items linked to acquisitions and restructuring costs resulted in cash outflow of €20.7 million. As at the end of June 2007, gross cash (see glossary) stood at €286.1 million, and net cash (see glossary) at €189.0 million.

Key highlights from the first six months of 2007

Bull focused resolutely on pursuing its strategy during the first half of 2007, combining the very best in IT services and open technologies, bringing together open servers, its in-depth expertise in complex infrastructures and business-critical applications, High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Open Source.

Servers: major innovations delivering better performance for lower energy consumption

In the enterprise server market, Bull launched new and innovative technologies that consume less energy and reduce CO2 emissions, while at the same time delivering improved performance, particularly with the introduction of new-generation Intel quad-core processors into its NovaScale® range of servers, bringing a noticeable improvement in performance-per-watt ratios.

Bull also launched the NovaScale® R422 server for HPC applications, featuring exceptional computing density that ensures optimum use of space and power utilization, contributing to sustainability.

In addition, Bull enhanced its fault-tolerant NovaScale® Microsoft® Windows® server offering and introduced the first Escala® servers equipped with the new POWER6&trade processor, designed in partnership with IBM to support data center applications.

Finally, Bull once again proved its extensive expertise in Business Intelligence infrastructure solutions, by delivering the industry's best price/performance ratio with a Bull NovaScale® server running Microsoft® SQL Server 2005.

Services: further success in business-critical applications and complex infrastructures

Bull confirmed its desire to grow its services business aggressively in specific segments and growth markets. In line with this move, Bull announced the acquisition of the Spanish IT services company Siconet, which specializes in consulting, systems integration, software development and technical support.

In France, Bull along with its partners, was chosen by the French Finance Ministry's financial information technology agency (AIFE) to carry out development work for the Chorus program - the State's future financial management application - and maintain the system in an operational condition; in one of the largest infrastructure services and national security tenders ever awarded. Chorus will handle government budget expenditures, non-tax receipts and accounting functions. It will be deployed in all the French government's centralized and local administrative organizations by the year 2010.

In the US, Bull further strengthened its position as the number one supplier of Business Intelligence services to public healthcare services, after the State of California chose Bull BI solutions to support its Medicaid program. With this new contract, Bull BI solutions now help to manage Medicaid programs that cover one in four Medicaid recipients in the US (some 15 million people) and account for more than a third of all Medicaid spending (Source: Kaiser Commission on Medicaid Services).

Finally, Bull announced that it had signed an agreement with the government of Morocco to create a dedicated offshore services center at the Casashore offshoring park. The new center will be dedicated to prime contractor and integration projects in the telecoms sector, as well as to e-government projects: activities where Bull Morocco can capitalize on a number of recent success stories to become a market leader.

New successes and new partnerships confirm Bull's breakthrough in High-Performance Computing

High-Performance Computing (HPC) remains one of the Group's strategic areas for growth.

In the area of scientific research, Bull and the University of Düsseldorf announced a two-year collaboration to mark the deployment of a NovaScale® supercomputer at the University's Center of Information and Communication Technologies (ZIM). The cooperative venture will involve the design of future HPC systems in the areas of visualization technologies, software components and HPC clustering technologies.

In addition, the German federal scientific computing network D-Grid will also now feature a Bull supercomputer, to be hosted at the Leibniz University in Hanover. Its computing power will be available to higher education and research centers throughout Germany.

In industry, Bull supercomputers have been chosen by Quadrics for the new HPC center at Alenia Aeronautica, a subsidiary of the Finmeccanica group, as well as by Alcan, who chose its new Bull HPC infrastructure for its scalable power, small footprint and reduced electrical power consumption.

Strengthening its partnerships in HPC technologies, Bull announced the creation of TALOS (Technologies for Advanced Large Scale Open Supercomputing), in partnership with the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), the German National High-Performance Computing Center (HLRS), Intel and Quadrics. The aim of TALOS is to accelerate the development of HPC solutions in Europe.

Bull is also a key member of the ParMA consortium (Parallel Programming for Multi-core Architectures), which brings together major industry players and research centers specializing in HPC in Germany, Spain, France and the UK. ParMA's main objective is to help the HPC community make the most of the rapid evolution in processors, by developing innovative, flexible and open technologies that capitalize on all the benefits of multi-core architectures.

Open Source dynamic consolidated

During the first half of 2007, Bull once again demonstrated its capabilities in innovative Open Source software development, capitalizing on its own pool of experts in this area as well as the global network of partnerships it has succeeded in building.

At the Linux Solutions event in Paris, Bull launched NovaForge, an innovative collaborative software development platform, based on Open Source, designed to reduce the development workload and reduce risks, in order to optimize the management of project timescales, improve the quality of the software being delivered and make it easier for the various players involved to buy into the project.

Bull also agreed a technological and commercial partnership with SpikeSource, a leading supplier of enterprise Open Source solutions, with the aim of jointly accelerating the adoption of Open Source applications by business.

Finally, in order to support the development of local players in the IT industry (including SMEs, software publishers, and major systems integrators and manufacturers), Bull has joined forces with major players in Europe, China and Brazil to launch QualiPSo, a &lsquoquality platform' dedicated to the development of Open Source software: a key driver for growth and competitiveness in their respective industries. QualiPSO is now the largest Open Source initiative funded by the European Community.

Outlook

The Group confirms that its EBIT (see glossary) for the 2007 financial year is expected to be between € 20 million and € 24 million, as announced in February 2007. The key factors for achieving this objective will be to continue to stabilize the Maintenance business, to improve margins in Services, and to grow the sales of open servers.

*The point of comparison is set at 30 June 2007 . The figures for the first six months of 2006 have been recast to exclude the Italian business and those for Q2 also exclude the Portuguese business. Companies acquired during the course of 2006 are included in the figures for 2006. Siconet is not included in the results for the first half of 2007.

Glossary:

Clause de Retour à Meilleure Fortune (CRMF) or profit sharing agreement: In return for the forgiveness of a shareholder's loan, Bull agreed in 2004 to pay annually to the French State a portion of pre-tax profits (EBT) between 2005 and 2012 on condition that (i) EBT for the year is at least €10 million; (ii) operating cashflow for the year after restructuring payments exceeds €10 million; (iii) shareholders' equity does not fall below €10 million by application of the clause. If any of these conditions are not met, no payment is due for that period. Please refer to Bull's annual report for a full description of the CRMF.

EBIT: Earnings before Interest and Taxes, non-operating and non-recurring items and contribution of equity affiliates.

Gross cash : Cash and cash equivalents including marketable securities available for sale, deposits and guarantees.

Net cash: Gross cash minus financial debt.

Financial debt: receivables sold with recourse, bank loans and bonds.

Capital expenditure: acquisition of assets by Bull for its own account or for the account of customers of managed services.


First half 2007 key figures

Income statement


€ millions

First half
2006

First half
2007

Revenue

559.2

100%

550.2

100%

o/w products

264.8

47%

256.8

47%

o/w maintenance

123.7

22%

120.4

22%

o/w services

170.7

31%

173.0

31%

Gross margin

141.3

25.3%

135.1

24.6%

EBIT (see glossary)

9.3

1.7%

9.5

1.7%

Net Income

3.9

0.7%

4.5

0.8%

Cashflow


€ millions

First half
2006

First half
2007

EBIT (see glossary)

9.3

9.5

Depreciation

9.6

9.4

Capital expenditure (see glossary)

(10.4)

(8.0 )

Change in working capital

(4.7)

(24.8)

Cash financial income

(0.3)

(1.3)

Cash taxes paid

(0.8)

(0.3)

Operating cashflow

2.7

(15.5)

Gross cash position

295.6

286.1

Net cash position

213.2

189.0

Summary consolidated financial statements

•  Consolidated income statement

€ millions

1H06

 

1H07

Revenue

559.2

 

 

550.2

 

Gross margin

141.3

25.3%

 

135.1

24.6%

R&D expenses

(24.1)

4.3%

 

(23.0)

4.2%

SG&A expenses

(108.0)

19.3%

 

(102.3)

18.6%

Forex gain / (loss)

0.1

 

 

(0.3)

 

EBIT (see glossary)

9.3

1.7%

 

9.5

1.7%

Other operating income

3.2

 

 

4.0

 

Other operating expenses

(16.3)

 

 

(6.4)

 

Share in the net income of associates

1.0

 

 

1.0

 

Operating income

(2.8)

 

 

7.2

 

Net financial charges

(0.3)

 

 

(2.4)

 

Tax

(0.8)

 

 

(0.3)

 

Change in deferred taxes

(19.7)

 

 

-

 

Change in CRMF (see glossary)

27.3

 

 

-

 

Net income

3.7

 

 

4.5

 

Minority interests

0.2

 

 

-

 

Net income - group share

3.9

 

 

4.5

 

•  Summary consolidated balance sheet

€ millions

30 June 2006

 

30 June 2007

Tangible & intangible assets

64.7

 

47.3

Goodwill

20.0

 

37.7

Non-current financial assets

11.6

 

67.3

Deferred taxes

32.0

 

28.0

Non-current assets

128.3

 

180.3

Inventory

43.4

 

45.0

Accounts receivable

255.6

 

235.0

Other current assets

64.5

 

58.9

Guarantee deposits

21.3

 

10.1

Cash & cash equivalents

274.3

 

202.1

Current assets

659.1

 

551.1

Assets available for sale

-

 

0.5

Total assets

787.4

 

731.9

Shareholders' equity - group share

91.1

 

81.0

Minority interests

0.1

 

0.1

Non-current reserves & liabilities

173.1

 

155.3

o/w CRMF(see glossary)

26.7

 

26.7

Current reserves & liabilities

523.1

 

495.5

o/w financial debt

82.4

 

97.1

o/w current part

68.5

 

84.5

Total liabilities

787.4

 

731.9

Disclaimer

This Press release includes and is based, inter alia, on forward-looking information and statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause expected results to differ.

Although Bull believes that its expectations and the information in this Press release were based upon reasonable assumptions at the time when they were made, it can give no assurance that those expectations will be achieved or that the expected results will be as set out in this Press release. Neither Bull nor any other company within the Bull Group is making any representation or warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information in the Press release, and neither Bull, any other company within the Bull Group nor any of their directors, officers or employees will have any liability to you or any other persons resulting from your use of the information in the Press release.

About Bull

 

Bull is the trusted partner for enterprise data. The Group, which is firmly established in the Cloud and in Big Data, integrates and manages high-performance systems and end-to-end security solutions. Bull's offerings enable its customers to process all the data at their disposal, creating new types of demand. Bull converts data into value for organisations in a completely secure manner.

Bull currently employs around 9,200 people across more than 50 countries, with over 700 staff totally focused on R&D. In 2013, Bull recorded revenues of €1.3 billion.

For more information:
http://www.bull.com  /  http://www.facebook.com/BullGroup  /  http://twitter.com/bull_com


Contact
Bull
Aurélie Negro
5 Bd Gallieni - 92445 Issy Les moulineaux Cedex - France
Phone: +33 1 58 04 05 02
E-mail: aurelie.negro@bull.net


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CONTACT

Aurélie Negro
+33 1 58 04 05 02
aurelie.negro@bull.net