Belfast Telegraph

Software firm posts stellar set of results

By Clare Weir

Co Down software company First Derivatives has again unveiled a stellar set of results, with turnover up more than 20% compared to the same period last year.

The Newry-based firm, which provides services to global investment banks and hedge funds, said in the six months until August, turnover was £22.4m, up more than 26% from the same period in 2010. Operating profit was £3.6m, a rise of 14.3%.

Net assets were £29m, up a whopping 33.4% from £21.7m.

The company reported growth across all parts of the business and a large increase of more than 50% in software transactions and revenue streams.

First Derivatives said there are additional products in development and that three new consulting initiatives were launched in the period, which contributed to the strong performance.

Founded in 1996, the company employs over 500 people in Northern Ireland alone, between offices in Newry and Belfast, and more than 700 worldwide - set to grow to 900 in coming years - and has 10 wholly-owned subsidiaries in five different countries.

David Anderson, chairman of First Derivatives, said that investment in the firm has resulted in big benefits.

"We have signed a number of contracts during the period which will start to become revenue generating in the second half and we have a healthy pipeline of prospects," he said.

"Despite a background of market turbulence we have made a strong start to the second half and expect to report profits for the year in line with expectations."

First Derivatives is one of three publicly-owned Northern Ireland firms quoted on the London AIM.

Last year, the company founder Brian Conlon won the coveted title of Ernst -amp; Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

He said that the company's technology platform allows new products to come into the market with ease.

"We have enjoyed another good set of results and are pleased that we have been able to maintain momentum despite the current financial climate.

"As well as building the software, we also supply the support services which means we have a large and growing client base.

"Our success is based on our good reputation, once that was solidified we were able to build on that and that makes people keep coming back to us.

"Investment is another aspect of our growth and we are constantly looking at investment, increasing staffing levels, allowing staff the opportunity to go and work in our other offices around the world, in places like London and New York, to help them develop their skills.

"We have more products coming online which will assist those trading in metals, infrastructure monitoring and other markets."