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Successful start to year by Pironet NDH
Investment activity is again buoyant and the information technology sector, which had been growing at a faster rate than the general economy over recent years, continues to bask in the glow of the improved overall economic situation.
The benefits of this following wind are also being felt at Pironet NDH AG. As one of the most innovative and high-growth providers of the products and services of European information and communications technology in the areas of content production, synchronisation and distribution of digital contents as well as ITC outsourcing, the company has enjoyed an explosive start to the 2007 business year. The broad product range is proving effective and customer feedback is highly positive.
The figures for the first 3 months of the current year paint a clear picture. Turnover rose by some 23% from EUR 10 million in the same period last year to EUR 12.3 million - the highest level of turnover ever achieved in a single quarter. This is all the more remarkable in that the first quarter is generally the weakest of the whole business year. Profit figures also showed a continued upward trend. EBIT also grew by 20% from EUR 0.5 million to EUR 0.6 million, despite the fact that depreciation, particularly on in-house products (intangible assets), rose sharply from EUR 0.2 million to EUR 0.7 million. The financial results showed an improvement of 35% from EUR 0.2 million to EUR 0.28 million, resulting in EBT of around 0.9 million, an increase of almost 30% on last year's figure.
Stringent credit control management, solid reinvestment, higher revenues from software licences and improved operating cash-flow all contributed to a tangible increase in liquidity. Liquid funds and securities rose by 21.8% from the end of the last business year to EUR 27.9 million, equivalent to EUR 1.91 per share, which is all the more encouraging in view of the fact that Pironet NDH continues to operate without bank borrowings.
One event of considerable significance in the first quarter was the establishment of nexum AG as an umbrella for all operations of Pironet' NDHs flourishing Consulting & Creative Services division and those of the former subsidiary nexum GmbH. This new entity has already obtained several major orders from Dax-listed companies, including the acquisition of the editorial and photo processing operations of Lufthansa Worldshops.
The business division ITC Outsourcing has also gained a considerable number of new customers, including two major projects secured in the first quarter. New customers include the Goldschmidt-Thermit Group, Wittronic, Bankverlag, Branion, the Bonn Urban Development Department and other well-known companies.
One of the products launched at CeBIT was the updated version of the content management solution pirobase Enterprise Content Studio (ECS), which expands the SAP Netweaver portal to create a complete editing system. The high level of interest shown by customers in this solution component bears out our strategy of focusing our content management expertise on the area of SAP customers. In the area of content management, Praktiker AG has been using the pirobase software as the central platform for management of all national pages since early March. This has enabled the company to unify its Internet presence and to strengthen its corporate identity. The platform is also operated at the Pironet NDH computing centre. Our subsidiary agentes AG has also succeeded in gaining its first customers for its new software product Relationship Management Engine (RME), including the Schwäbisch Hall savings bank.
The figures for the first quarter serve to underline our confidence for the current reporting period. Our targets remain focused on achieving double-digit growth with above-average increases in profits.
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