SOURCE: Altran Technologies

October 17, 2005 03:40 ET

ALTRAN TECHNOLOGIES : Results of the First Half 2005

Paris -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 17, 2005 -- Operating margin, up at 5.8%

Profit of E 17.7m

Sales of E 724.0m are up 5.6% with respect to the first half 2004 (set to constant accounting standards).

The operating margin excluding non-recurring items, is at E 41.8m, representing a margin of 5.8%, up by nearly 2 points compared to first half of 2004. The Group's improved performance is the result of buoyant business sales outside France during the half year, combined with the better management of costs globally.

+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|In Em                    |   H1 2004   |   H2 2004   | 31.12.2004  |H1 2005|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|                         |IFRS Restated|IFRS Restated|IFRS Restated|   IFRS|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Sales                    |        685.5|        710.1|      1,395.6|  724.0|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Operating margin         |         26.2|         33.0|         59.2|   41.8|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|As % of sales            |         3.8%|         4.6%|         4.2%|   5.8%|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Non recurring            |         14.9|         21.7|         36.6|   10.6|
|income/losses            |             |             |             |       |
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Goodwill depreciation    |        (9.8)|       (15.8)|       (25.6)|  (3.9)|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Operating income         |         31.2|         39.0|         70.2|   48.4|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|As % of sales            |         4.6%|         5.5%|         5.0%|   6.7%|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Net cost of debt         |        (7.8)|        (9.3)|       (17.1)| (10.2)|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Other financial          |        (0.6)|        (5.7)|        (6.3)|  (1.3)|
|income/losses            |             |             |             |       |
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Income taxes             |       (28.7)|        (1.2)|       (29.5)| (19.1)|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Net result of integrated |        (5.4)|         22.7|         17.3|   17.7|
|companies                |             |             |             |       |
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Minority interests       |        (0.4)|            -|        (0.4)|      -|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
|Group’s net result       |        (5.8)|         22.7|         16.9|   17.7|
+-------------------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------+
The non-recurring operating result shows the profit made by the selling of assets (E 10.6m).

In compliance with the IFRS accounting rules, the Group has recorded goodwill depreciations of E 3.9m for the companies showing a loss in value.

The Result of the Altran Group for the fist half year 2005 stands at E 17.7m.

The Group net debt therefore stands at E 342.3m in accordance to the IFRS rules, representing a reduction of E 37.1m compared to 31st December 2004, CRC compliant. This decrease is linked mainly to the split accounting rules - following the IFRS standards - on the convertible bonds issued in July 2004 which are redeemable in January 2009. Current operations has generated E 2m of cash.

The earn-out payments of 2004 stood at E 12.7m for the first half 2005. The payments for the second half of 2005 should be around E 8m.

The factoring operation continues to bear its fruit, amounting to the financing of E 129.0m at 30th June 2005.

Outlook

In June, the Group announced a plan to improve performance and redefine strategy.

Concerning the plan to improve performance, the Group had announced its wish to reduce annual costs by between E 40m to E 60m by the end of 2007. To date, the decisions that have been acted out should mean an effective reduction of E 10m by the 2nd half year 2005. These decisions will mean an annual reduction of the cost base for 2006 of around E 27m. The Group continues to work on the improvement of its profitability and it is confident in its capacity to reduce its annual cost base by between E 50m to E 60m, in the next 18 months.

Finally, in addition to the impact of the restructure, the Group will centre its efforts on:

. adding vitality to business in France

. expanding its business development outside France

. improving the current operating result, semester by semester

. improving its offer to better serve client expectations

Following dates:

. Publication of turnover for the third quarter 2005, on 14 November 2005 (before market open)

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