26 Apr 2012 Paris - Bull has issued its revenues for the first quarter of 2012. Over the first three months of 2012, order intake was 334.4 million euro, representing a significant increase compared to the first quarter of 2011 of 6.7%. The book-to-bill ratio for the period was 1.17. Revenues for the first quarter were 286.5 million euro, up by 5.8%.
Organic growth in revenues - at like-for-like business scope and constant exchange rates - was 3.9%.
Philippe Vannier, Bull's Chairman and CEO, commented: "I am pleased with the Group's performance in the first quarter. Our growth has accelerated strongly compared with 2011, in a highly competitive environment. All our teams have been mobilized to achieve technological successes at an international level, such as the installation of a new Petascale supercomputer at Rokkasho in Japan in well under a year. This means Bull is very well positioned in the very promising Cloud computing market, which requires an excellent alliance between power and security in the highly sensitive area of critical systems."
Order intake for the Business Line was 10.5 million euro, up by 20.3% thanks most notably to its Extreme Computing offerings. Revenues also grew, by 8.3% to 11.3 million euro. Once again, Extreme Computing, along with the bullion family of enterprise servers, underpinned that growth. The book-to-bill ratio for Q1 was 0.93, due to the significant variations caused by the supercomputer contract in Japan, which was installed at the end of 2011 and whose acceptance was finalized in Q1 2012. Nevertheless, the strong prospects for this business indicate that this book-to-bill level is not representative of that expected for the 2012 financial year.
The signing of some significant contracts early in the year contributed to the satisfactory level of orders, at 213.2 million euro, for the first three months. The contract with the French Post Office, La Poste, is especially symbolic of the way the Group's offerings are changing and moving towards Cloud computing. It involves providing access to a secure hosting infrastructure for an initial period of 6 years. Revenues for the Business Line over the quarter were up 6.3% at 175.6 million euro, led mainly by infrastructure and maintenance services, especially for customers of the Group's Extreme Computing offerings. Order intake represented 121% of revenues for the period. However, order intake fell slightly (down 1.3%) compared with the high level of orders recorded in Q1 2011 when two major contracts (for the University of Aachen and the Rokkasho supercomputer) were concluded.
Order intake grew strongly, by 18.0% thanks to very strong commercial momentum internationally, especially in Benelux, Poland and Morocco, as well as in France. In particular, Bull signed a multi-year contract with O Boticario - one of the leading Brazilian cosmetics companies - to provide a global turnkey communications solution along with telecoms operator Embratel. Revenues for the Business Line were 73.7 million euro, up 4.1%.
The Business Line posted a very strong increase in order intake of 43.7%, due to the momentum of its offerings, especially in the transport market. Most notably, Bull is to supply the SYTRAL group with a dynamic passenger information solution for the region in and around the French city of Lyon. Orders for the quarter were 35.1 million euro and the book-to-bill ratio was 1.35. Security Solutions recorded revenues of 25.9 million euro during the first three months, an increase of 5.8% thanks in particular to the continued success of activities with short sales cycles. The senior management structure of this Business Line was also consolidated in April 2012.
The Group's financial position is healthy. Operating cash demonstrates a similar pattern to previous years, in line with the level of business acitivity which is traditionally weaker in the early part of the year.
The Group is confirming its medium-term objectives published on 9 December 2010 as part of the unveiling of BullWay 2011-2013, its strategic plan for growth.