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Misys shares slip as challenges cloud outlook

17 July 2003  |  4272 views  |  0 Misys

Shares in software group Misys slipped 6.6% in early trading despite the company reporting full year earnings ahead of expectations.

For the year ending 31 May 2003, Misys reported group revenues of £1,014 million, slightly below last year (2002: £1,041 million), but ahead of consensus forecasts. Pre-tax profits of £130 million were £2 million up on the equivalent period and £14.2 million ahead of market forecasts.

Commenting, Kevin Lomax, executive chairman of Misys, says: "Although market conditions generally remained challenging throughout the year, we were able to improve profitability while at the same time pursuing major initiatives in each division to expand and re-position within our target markets."

With Misys shares close to their year high at 290.75 pence overnight, profit-taking by investors pushed the price down to 271.5 pence in early trading, as the market saw little prospect for near-term improvements in performance.

While Misys talked of a return to to growth in bank IT spending patterns it cautioned that any uplift would not be felt until next year.

Misys' banking and securities division bore the brunt of the downturn in the year to date, with operating profits down by £5 million at £53 million, as banks of all kinds made further reductions in their IT budgets. Initial Licence Fee (ILF) order intake at £74m was 15% below last year although the rate of decline was less in the second half than in the first. More significantly, professional services revenues at £65m were 26% below last year, partly following the earlier decline in ILF order intake but also as a result of continuing pressure on banks to reduce costs in this area, with the rate of decrease higher in the second half.

"It is clear that banks are continuing to bear down on the cost of professional services, and that this effect will extend beyond the downturn in licence sales," says the company.

The company restated its commitment to float its IFA-related business within the next year, but cautioned that a decline in commission income will likely depress the performance of the financial services division over the coming year.

Seperately, Misys Asset Management Systems has announced the appointment of Matthew Baldwin as manager, international sales, to support the firm's focus on the UK institutional asset management sector. Previously, Baldwin was heading up the Misys Asset Management Systems Asia Pacific business.

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