Bull: profit slackens in 2013, the group takes the big data turn

by bold-lichterman

The French group has launched a major savings plan of 30 million euros over 30 months.

bull-logoThe French IT group Bull saw its turnover almost unchanged in 2013, at 1.262 billion euros, against 1.285 billion a year earlier, a slight contraction of 0.8%. But it is above all the fall in its net profit that worries. This fell to 10.9 million euros, against 28.6 million in 2012. “The economic environment in 2013 was generally tense, especially in the first half” recognizes Philippe Vanier, the chairman. “In the second part of the year, we improved our cash generation and our profitability,” he notes, however.

To recover, the company, which employs more than 9,000 people in more than 50 countries, presented at the beginning of January a major program of internal reorganization and strategic repositioning. Called “One Bull”, it aims to strengthen the group in corporate data management and therefore to take the turn of Big Data, cloud and business intelligence at a time when many players have made it a major axis of development – in particular IBM which announced in January the opening of a data center in Paris for the second quarter. “By combining our expertise, aggregating them and focusing them around a clear objective, Bull intends both to gain in competitiveness and to capitalize on a demand that will continue to increase in order to exploit the potential of Big Data” then explained Pierre Barnabé, director of operations.

To achieve this, a savings plan of 30 million euros over a period of 30 months was adopted. This will notably involve a geographic regrouping of activities and an overhaul of the sales organization. On the financial level, it “also aims to continue improving performance with the objective of doubling profitability by 2017 and reaching a margin of 7% of EBIT (profit before interest and taxes, Editor’s note) ”according to Mr. Vanier, double the 3.5% recorded in 2013.

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