SunGard reports strong fourth quarter

SunGard reports strong fourth quarter

Fintech giant SunGard is reporting a healthy rise in fourth quarter revenue and income across its business, particularly its financial systems unit which it says was not impacted by the sub-prime crisis.

SunGard says group revenue for the three months ending 31 December 31 2007 was $1.39 billion, an increase of 17% on the year ago period.

The vendor says its performance for the fourth quarter was strong despite uncertainty about the broader economy.

Results were "very strong" at its financial systems business, says SunGard, with fourth quarter revenue increasing 23% to $745 million, compared to a year ago.

However organic revenue at the unit grew approximately 21%, boosted by volumes at a trading systems businesses - a broker-dealer with lower operating margins - which contributed $54 million, or eight percentage points, to the growth rate. SunGard says this exceeded expectations and will not continue.

License fees at the financial systems unit were $89 million for the fourth quarter, compared to $80 million for the same period in 2006, an increase of 11%.

SunGard restructured the financial systems business last year by dividing the unit into two distinct industry segments led by Jim Ashton and Harold Finders.

Cristóbal Conde, president and chief executive officer, says: "SunGard's performance for the quarter was strong despite uncertainty about the broader economy. In our financial systems business, fourth quarter results were very strong and were not impacted by the sub-prime crisis."

Conde says turnover also increased at the group's 'availability services' unit. Overall revenue increased 10% to $385 million for the quarter. However organic revenue growth was up just four per cent. Revenue was also up 11% at the group's 'higher education and public sector systems' division.

Conde says the group will report these three main businesses separately going forward.

Overall group revenue for the year 2007 was $4.90 billion, an increase of 13% for the full year 2006. Adjusted income from operations for the year was $1.15 billion, a 15% increase over $994 million in 2006.

SunGard was taken private in 2005 in the largest-ever buy-out of a technology firm.

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