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Strong growth for First Derivatives after acquisition

By Michael Cogley

Published 20/10/2015

Brian Conlon, the founder of First Derivatives
Brian Conlon, the founder of First Derivatives

Newry-based financial software and consultancy firm First Derivatives has announced that trading in the first half of its financial year has been strong, with revenue ahead of last year.

The company revealed that it received $6.5m (£4.2m) net of tax in respect of a shareholding in 1010data, which was recently acquired by Advance/Newhouse for $500m.

Brian Conlon set up the company in 1996 in a bedroom in his mother's house in Newry.

After last year's acquisition of Kx Systems, chief executive officer Mr Conlon - who was the winner of the Business Personality of the Year title in this year's Belfast Telegraph Business Awards - says that the company is working on maximising the opportunities of the deal.

"Following the acquisition of Kx Systems in October 2014, the group has continued to work towards maximising the opportunities this transformational deal has provided.

"As well as strengthening our position within capital markets, we are making good progress in new markets, and 1010data's use of kdb (a high-performance column-store database) highlights the potential in sectors such as manufacturing and telecoms," Mr Conlon said.

"We remain focused on delivering strong, profitable growth while investing in First Derivatives' future."

Goodbody Stockbrokers analyst Gavin Kelleher described the figures as encouraging.

"In terms of our H1 estimates we have revenue growth of 37% in for the first half, and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) growth of 51%, so you can see we are forecasting a significant improvement year on year," Mr Kelleher said.

"We will get more detail when the results come out on November 11."

First Derivatives is the largest listed company in Northern Ireland.

In 2014, it created 484 new jobs at its Newry base, after it received £3.9m from Invest NI, bringing the global total of its workforce to almost 1,500.

In June, the company announced a pre-tax profits rise of 120%, from £7.9m in 2014 to £17.5m this year.

Belfast Telegraph

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