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UK public sector biz keeps French giant Atos buoyant

Busy year for hungry outsourcer digesting Xerox ITO and Bull

Sales at French outsourcing giant Atos rose 5.1 per cent to €9.1bn (£5.9bn) for its full-year 2014, buoyed by UK public sector spend.

Net income was €283m (£183m), up a respectable nine per cent from the previous year.

However, the firm said when currency exchange was taken into account, sales dropped 1.1 per cent on last year.

Managed services revenue was down 1.4 per cent organically, it said.

This was an improvement compared with the first nine months of the year due to UK activity, said the firm. The segment represents 51 per cent of its businesses.

The group also noted a "ramp-up of major [business process outsourcing] contracts" in the UK public sector.

During its conference call Thierry Breton, the company's chief executive, highlighted its strong year in the public sector, following its contracts with the Department for Work and Pensions.

Without the UK contribution, the declines in the consulting & SI business would have looked worse, said Georgina O'Toole of TechMarketView.

The public service & health service line was the only vertical to grow during the year, up 7.3 per cent, she said.

Atos had a busy year in 2014 intergrating its €620m (£485m) acquisition of fellow French outsourcer Bull, and its $1.05bn (£670m) purchase of Xerox's outsourcing biz.

Breton said the firm is focusing on cloud, big data and mobility.

“Last year was dynamic for Atos," he said. "During this first year of our 3-year plan, while we met our operational and financial targets, we also accelerated the transformation of the Group, notably through the completion of Worldline IPO, the integration of Bull operations and technologies, and the announcement of the project to acquire Xerox ITO to increase significantly our footprint in North America."

The firm employs 86,000 employees in 66 countries around the world. ®

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