Business

Boss hails 'robust' performance as FD splits group into three divisions

Sales and gross profit at First Derivatives were flat at £237.9 million and £101 million respectively in the year to February 28
Gary McDonald Business Editor

TECHNOLOGY giant First Derivatives has unveiled a new strategy - and dispensed with part of its name - as it aims to double revenues by 2025.

It came as the Newry-headquartered firm posted "robust" results in the year to February 28, in line with market expectations, with sales and gross profit flat at £237.9 million and £101 million respectively, though pre-tax profit dipped 39 per cent to £11.1 million.

Momentum increased towards the end of the financial year, with contract wins across the group and a substantially strengthened pipeline, and it secured a raft of new partnerships and contracts.

They include with the Williams F1 team, a major US gas and electricity utility business, a large scale semi-conductor manufacturer, a major telecoms company in North America and fintech and finance organisations across the globe.

Revealing the financials in London yesterday, company principals also outlined a new group structure, effectively splitting operations into three.

The group will now be known as FD Technologies and will comprise three businesses – KX, First Derivative and MRP – with each brand having a distinct identity and market, and maximising its growth opportunity.

KX will be at the heart of future growth propositions and the focus of investment, with FD's goal being to enable KX to become the market-leading technology for real-time streaming analytics, which represents a $39 billion market. It is expecting KX to grow by at least 25 per cent in the current financial year.

MRP will seek to consolidate its position as a market-leading digital platform in account-based marketing, and FD is targeting 20 per cent growth in platform revenue in the current financial year.

And the First Derivative division (the letter 's' has been dropped from its original name), which comprises the group's managed services and consulting business plus elements of its software services revenue, will benefit from sharper focus on target markets, and a 10 per cent revenue growth has been targeted here.

The company added 400 new staff over the last year and now has around 2,500 people based at 15 locations in four continents.

Speaking to the Irish News, FD Technologies' chief executive Seamus Keating said he was "excited" about the company's prospects.

“Using streaming analytics to inform and automate operational decisions is one of the most important growth areas in technology today, and KX enables this for our customers,” he said.

“During the past year we have positioned the business to scale rapidly to address this opportunity, by accelerating our technology roadmap, strengthening our leadership, developing our commercial strategy and putting in place enhanced systems and processes to scale the group.

“By increasing our investment in the business we unlock the potential for rapid growth and for KX to become a key part of tomorrow’s technology ecosystem.”

He added: “Streaming analytics is so important right now as organisations move from big data to fast data at speed – and whether you’re a racing team in F1, a telco network in Ireland, or a tech manufacturer in the US – processing and acting on data in microseconds has never been more important.

“This emerging technology is not only helping countries battling Covid to act quickly when it comes to track and trace, infection rate modelling and vaccine roll-outs.”

The FD board is anticipating that revenue for the currently year will be in the range of £255m to £260m, with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the range of £31m to £33m.

Chairman Donna Troy said: “Following a detailed review, informed by growing market opportunities resulting from the increasing capabilities of our technology, the board has concluded that now is the time for targeted investment which will accelerate our growth and establish KX as a world-leading horizontal technology for real-time streaming analytics.”

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