Flying in the face of economic uncertainty, Europe's business applications vendors are sustaining strong financial performances – especially those able to leverage a solid domestic base.
In their latest financial periods, Sweden's IFS and Intentia, Denmark's Navision, and Netherlands-headquartered Scala and Unit 4 Agresso all turned in double-digit growth. Perhaps most startling were Intentia's numbers for the final quarter of 2001. The company – which offers the Movex Collaboration Applications suite of enterprise resource planning and business performance measurement, customer relationship management, supply and value chain management, and ebusiness software – recorded revenues of SEK1.28 billion ($115.0m), a rise of 31% over the year-ago period. The company also showed a turnaround in profitability, chalking up net income of SEK87.1 million ($7.8m) compared to a loss in the same period of 2001 of SEK22.9 million ($2.1m). For the full year, revenues rose 24% to SEK4.01 billion ($361.2 million), as net losses were cut from SEK343.6 million ($30.9m) in 2000 to SEK56.6 million ($5.1m).
Influencing this performance was substantial revenue flow from a new product cycle. In September, the company rolled out Movex 12, a re-write of the suite in Java that helps insulate users against platform obsolescence, among other benefits. Revenues were also boosted by the acquisition of several Movex distributors and a ramp-up of the company's consulting activities.
Intentia, which derives 54% of its revenues from Northern European countries, is strongest in Scandinavia, but has been pushing hard into Germany, France, the UK, US and Australia.
Meanwhile, IFS, also based in Sweden and with a similar product coverage, was able to boast solid revenue growth of 11% to SEK845.8 million ($76.1m) in its fourth quarter, though losses worsened to SEK129.0 million ($11.6m) from SEK63.4 million ($2.1m) a year earlier. Sales for 2001 were up 34% to SEK3,151 million ($283.6m), though losses widened to SEK376.8 million ($33.9m) from SEK246.3 million ($22.2m) in 2000. The company now claims to be the sixth largest business applications software company, behind SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Baan. Sales during the fourth quarter in the company's Nordic region, where a third of revenues are generated, were up a sluggish 4%, but in the rest of Western Europe business expanded by 35%. In the US, where 29% of revenues stem, sales rose 6% in the quarter.
In Denmark, Navision has been showing equally strong numbers. The company, which offers its Attain, Axapta and Navision Financials suites to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), reported revenues up 19% to DKK849.1 million ($101.9m) in its first half of 2002. Profits were also solid, rising to DKK122.3 million ($14.7m) from DKK58.3 million ($7.0m). Navision executives maintain that the financial software market for SMBs has remained largely unchanged in the past six months.