Belfast Telegraph

First Derivatives powers ahead as sales soar to almost £200m

Firm enjoys 21st year of double-digit sales growth

By John Mulgrew

Newry tech firm First Derivatives is planning to continue more than two decades of double-digit growth as its sales soar to almost £200m.

The company, which was set up by Brian Conlon, says it is tapping further into a potential total global market for its software, worth up to £80bn.

It grew its turnover to £186m in the year to February - up 23% on the same period a year earlier.

And while pre-tax profits saw a small dip, adjusted earnings rose by almost a fifth to £34.1m.

The company produces software used in the financial service sector, but has also landed deals for work with Formula One team Red Bull and in other areas.

Adrian Toner, the company's chief operating officer, told the Belfast Telegraph: "We regard these results as very positive, and they are ahead of market expectations.

"There was strong progress in turnover, which was up 23% overall … importantly for ourselves, the increase in software revenue was 27%.

"In the underlining performance, our operating profits were up 20%. Profit before tax was slightly down on the year before."

He said that was due to financing costs and additional costs associated with acquisitions.

"Earnings per share are up 18%. The full year dividend is up 20%, so clearly there is something in there for investment and everyone alike."

During the last 12 months FD has also signed up clients in new sectors, including the Formula One Red Bull team and Airbus defence and space.

The company is based in Newry but has offices around the world. FD said its Airbus deal was for "large scale processing of geospatial data", and would bring opportunities in energy and engineering.

The company has also launched a Belfast office at the refurbished Weaving Works building at Ormeau Avenue.

"We expanded into gaming, and we announced that we had a FTSE company that we are doing business with, where they can use multiple variables in real-time to maximise their revenue," Mr Toner said.

It is understood that firm is betting giant Paddy Power - and FD is growing its relationship in world of Formula One, amid its partnership with Red Bull Racing.

"We acquired a company in Madrid in the telecoms sector. As a heavy data user they are using Kx for network planning and network development strategy," Mr Toner said.

"We are very proud that we have had 21 consecutive years of double digit growth and we would hope that would remain in the years ahead."

Belfast Telegraph

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