12 February 2002 Demand for software has recovered from its post-11 September downturn, according to Chris Aspinwall, CEO of stock trading software vendor Royalblue Group.
The downturn was short-lived and Aspinwall said that order levels had now returned to those experienced in the buoyant first half of 2001. Royalblue has a number of major support contracts in the pipeline for 2002, most notably with the Oslo Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Europe.
In the year to the end of December 2001, Woking, Surrey-based Royalblue posted revenues up 15% to £66.2 million (€107.2m). However, pre-tax profit fell by 39% to £4.2 million (€6.8m).
Annual sales of Royalblue’s Fidessa equity trading software increased by half to £56 million (€90.8m), which helped boost the company’s operating profits by 47% to £8.1 million (€13.1m). Fidessa is the company’s flagship software suite, which the company hopes will be the engine of future growth.
Market consolidation and technical upgrades to networks in Europe – on the Frankfurt and London stock exchanges as well as on Euronext – benefited the company. The introduction of decimal share pricing in the US also had a positive impact.
In July 2001, the company sold its Royalblue Technologies unit, including its help desk operations, which accounts for the difference between pre-tax profit, at £4.2 million (€6.8m), and operating profit from continuing operations, at £8.1 million (€13.1m).