First quarter 2013 revenue: EUR436.7 million. Consolidated revenue for the first quarter 2013 decreased by 3.4% like-for-like taking into account an unfavourable base effect and was in line with the Group's expectations.
Restated for non-recurring sales of equipment and licences recorded during the first quarter of 2012 within the framework of the launch of the Ecotaxe project in France, the like-for-like revenue decline amounted to 1.6% and was notably explained by a calendar effect (estimated impact of -2 points on the level of growth).
Activity for the first quarter 2013
Over the period, the overall business environment remained sluggish.
Activity for the first quarter 2013 was significantly impacted by unfavourable base effects. The first quarter of 2012 had been inflated by non-recurring sales in France within the framework of the launch of the Ecotaxe project (the 2012 first quarter had posted growth of 13.6% in this zone). Adjusted for this effect, the like-for-like decline was 1.6% during the first quarter of 2013. This latter figure needs to be seen within the context of a significantly lower number of production days relative to the first quarter of 2012 (-2.2 days on average for the Group with an estimated impact of -2 points on the level of growth).
In terms of business lines, Business Process Outsourcing grew by +18.9% and IT Infrastructure Management by +0.2% while Applications Services (consulting, systems integration, applications maintenance and testing) declined by 10.2% under the impact, notably, of the base effects linked to Ecotaxe and the number of days of production (-7.4% excluding the Ecotaxe effect).
At March 31, 2013, the book to bill ratio stood at 0.95 (0.94 in the previous year). In the cyclical part of the activity (consulting/systems integration/testing) the book to bill ratio saw a marked improvement relative to the previous year (1.24 versus 0.89) with orders up by 26.4% relative to the first quarter 2012.
In the United Kingdom, revenue declined by 2.0% like-for-like. Activity was strong in the Energy-Utilities/Telco-Media/Transport sector but slightly down in the Public sector and still under pressure in the Banking sector. At ththe end of March 2013, the book to bill ratio stood at 0.83 (0.79 at March 31, 2012).
In France, reported revenue was down by 7.9%, a decline of 2.9% after restatement for Ecotaxe equipment and licences in the 2012 financial year (Eur10m) and -0.8% after adjustment for the calendar effect. The overall business environment was marked by the wait-and-see attitude prevailing at the beginning of the year within a climate dominated by growing economic uncertainty in the country. The book to bill ratio at March 31, 2013 was similar to that of the previous year (1.04 versus 1.02 at March 31, 2012) and reflecting an 18% increase in orders in the cyclical systems integration and testing activities.
In Germany, despite three fewer days of production relative to 2012, revenue saw a slight +0.3% like-for-like progression. The Public and Finance sectors were positively orientated while the Energy-Utilities/Telco-Media/Transport sector saw a decline over the quarter. At March 31, 2013, the book to bill ratio stood at 1.23 (1.17 at March 31, 2012).
In the Other Europe zone, like-for-like revenue growth was +0.4% with a significant rebound in Scandinavian growth to +6.8% (despite five fewer days of production relative to 2012) and the successful deployment of the second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) having led to a reduction in revenue within the framework of the ending of the systems integration contract.
Financing of the Group
On April 10th, 2013, the Group successfully raised ?180 million through a private placement of bonds with a maturity of six years and three months (due July 2019) bearing a 4.25% coupon.
After the redemption, on January 2nd, 2013, of the perpetual subordinated convertible bonds that had been issued in 2007 at a interest rate of 5.7%, this new bond issuance enables the Group to reinforce its financial flexibility and disintermediate its financial resources on favourable terms.
The average maturity of the Group's financing has been significantly extended and the redemption dates spread over time.
The Group has set objectives for 2013 that include organic revenue growth, an increase in operating margin rate and positive free cash flow (after dividends).