Philippe Vannier, Chairman and CEO of Bull, commented: "Since 1 January, we have started to implement our corporate strategic plan, BullWay, in line with the planned timescales. By mobilizing our teams, in the first quarter of 2011 we have been able to maintain the commercial momentum that started in the final quarter of 2010. In particular, I welcome the international recognition of our expertise in computing power and integration, with the success of our Extreme Computing offerings in Japan and Germany. The welcome given to our new security offerings also opens up promising new possibilities for us, even though the political situation in some countries may be slowing down the decision-making process. Our most recent successes confirm our position among the leaders in mission-critical digital systems, and the strong growth in orders in Q1 reflects the dynamism of the company and its ability to achieve its medium-term objectives."
In order to facilitate comparisons, published revenues for 2010 have been recast according to the new business segmentation.
Bull Innovative Products develops and manufactures systems designed for customers with the most demanding requirements in terms of performance, robustness and reliability. This segment brings together the Group's hardware solutions: its supercomputer offerings - which enable the development of products and solutions to tackle the huge energy, environmental, health care and security challenges of the future - and large-scale enterprise servers, which run the new generation of computerized business processes and services, Cloud computing and the Internet of things.
The growth in the Group's Extreme Computing offerings explains the very strong growth (+109%) in order intake for this division. One order in Japan and another in Germany, in particular, contributed to the significant progress in sales activity and the increase in the order book this quarter. Revenue for the period grew by 5.3 % to 37.9 million euro, while the book-to-bill ratio was 1.72.
Bull Computing Solutions helps its customers to define, build and operate their critical infrastructures by guaranteeing security and service delivery, and the highest levels of performance and reliability. The Business Line distributes and integrates Bull's own products (high-end enterprise servers, supercomputers and security solutions), as well as those of its partners, combined with its outsourcing and industrialized service delivery capabilities.
Orders grew by 28% in Q1, due in particular to the signing of major outsourcing contracts, some of which are related to Extreme Computing. The book-to-bill ratio stands at a satisfactory level. Revenues for the quarter grew slightly, by 1.3%, to 168.6 million euro. The Group is continuing to invest in new outsourcing facilities, to further strengthen the momentum in this sector and to ensure continued growth.
Specializing in complex business processes and critical applications, Bull Business Integration Solutions helps its customers to design and implement innovative and secure solutions that enable them to capitalize fully on their legacy applications, while also taking advantage of all the new ways of using digital technologies. As a trusted partner to its customers, Bull Business Integration Solutions draws on its sector-specific experience and the technological expertise of its teams, both in Open Source and in its ISV partners' products, to build made-to-measure applications that meet its customers current and future challenges.
As expected, order intake fell by 9.0% compared with the same period in 2010 mainly because of the base effect. Thanks to the Bullway strategic plan and its business perspective, the decrease should be offset over the rest of the year. Revenue, meanwhile, showed an increase of 5.8%. Customers in France in the Telecoms sector, as well as in emerging markets, made an especially significant contribution to this growth.
To guarantee the security of their mission-critical systems, organize their defenses against cyber-attacks and protect their sovereignty without impeding the necessary flow of communications and travel, nation States and businesses alike are compelled to implement new kinds of integrated security strategies. Bull Security Solutions develops high security solutions, closely combining physical, logical and electronic means of protection, so as to offer a global, made-to-measure response against today's risks and their changing profile in the future.
Events in the Near and Middle-East have impacted the business of this division. Nevertheless, new offerings launched in the first quarter of 2011 - offering highly innovative solutions for this market - are attracting sustained interest among defense and security buyers (Shadow, DLP).
The Group's financial position is healthy. Bull's cash position demonstrates a similar pattern to previous years, in line with the level of business activity, which is generally weaker at the beginning of the year.
At the beginning of 2011, Bull agreed a 50 million euro credit facility with four banking groups (BPCE, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas), taking the form of, on the one hand, a loan of 35 million euro repayable over five years and, on the other, a revolving credit facility covering the same period of 15 million euro. This move is designed to strengthen Bull's financial capacity, and clearly demonstrates the willingness of its banking partners to support the Group in its medium-term development.
Key highlights for the first quarter of 2011 include:
1. Bull to provide the Rokkasho supercomputer in Japan, as part of the ITER programme
Bull has been selected by F4E, Fusion For Energy, to build, maintain and operate the future Data Center to be established at the International Fusion Energy Research Center (IFERC) in Rokkasho, Japan.
The Japan-based bullx supercomputer will:
Today, supercomputers are used by very many research and production centers around the world, in areas such as energy, life sciences and health care, climate research, the automotive and aeronautical industries, finance and risk analysis.
2. Bull provides a new supercomputer to RWTH Aachen University
A bullx supercomputer is to be installed at the North Rhine-Westphalia Technical University (RWTH) in Aachen, one of the nine German 'Universities of Excellence' with around 33,000 students.
The new bullx supercomputer at RWTH Aachen will:
3. Bull launches a signal jamming system - unique in the world - designed to prevent attacks from remote-controlled improvised explosive devices
Bull has developed and refined a whole new generation of signal jammers able to deal with all forms of systems relating to remote-controlled explosives, including the very latest ones such as those using UMTS protocol.
Bull's Shadow jamming system:
4. Bull helps Xerox effectively combine virtualization and performance
By providing the group with its bullion technology, Bull offers Xerox the ideal platform that combines virtualization with high performance, to support the desktop publishing and computerized documentation services delivered through its 15 production sites in France.
The Bull novascale bullion servers:
Xerox and bullion:
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. The implementation of this program started in Q1 2011 and it will be rolled out gradually, as planned.