Micropole, an international consulting and engineering group, specialized in the fields of Business Intelligence, e-Business, ERP and CRM, attained a stable annual turnover of €120.4 m in 2012 compared to the €120.8 m achieved in 2011 (-0.3%). Like-for-like, the turnover amounts to €117.4 m, a dip of 2.8%.
2012 unfolded against a complex macro-economic background causing a significant slow-down in investments. This drop in business levels, already apparent from the month of March, intensified during the second and third quarters. On the other hand, the year-end saw a change in this trend.
In absolute terms, the last quarter of 2012 showed clear evidence of an increase in business activity and growth in the order book. This enables us to take on FY 2013 with prospects of improvement in group business. However, in relative value compared to 2011, the last quarter results were adversely impacted by an unfavorable base effect, as group growth had stood at 21% for the last quarter 2011. Incidentally, the month of December 2012 was specifically impacted by a negative 18% calendar effect (18 production days as opposed to 22 in December 2011) and a sharp increase in leave/ vacation rates, as well as less dynamism on the license sales figures. In the fourth quarter, the consolidated turnover reached €32.0 m, a 9.9% drop in relation to 2011 (like-for-like, the organic turnover stands at € 31.5 m versus €35.5 m).
In terms of analysis of the geographical sectors over the whole year, the slowdown was most noticeable for France and Switzerland. Switzerland especially was strongly impacted by banking sector-related issues. In this country, business hit its lowest point in September, before showing a clear upturn in the last quarter. Benelux, buoyed by the dynamism of the ERP offer, benefitted largely from projects with international gearing. Finally, in its first year of establishment in China, Micropole signed several new projects in 2012, promising good growth prospects even if the business has not yet had a significant impact on the overall turnover.
In line with its strategy, the Micropole group has pursued its international development which now represents almost 27% of turnover. 2012 witnessed the opening of a third office in China (Beijing), the buyout of Velixis, a Belgian company specialized in Business Intelligence, and the acquisition of the Swiss consulting firm Beryl, specialized in risk and organization (financial sector). Micropole has therefore ramped up its strategy of strengthening its high value added offers with international gearing.
As regards the offers, the dynamism of high-value added business was notable in this financial year particularly with regard to EPM or Master Data Management, in which Micropole holds a leadership position, as well as ERP. Also noteworthy in France are the advances made by the groups’ training subsidiary as well as those made by the regions, whereas Business Intelligence and e-Business were more impacted by the market slowdown in Paris. FY 2012 highlights the growing differences in the dynamics of the different business lines, which will enable the group to target its upcoming investments accordingly.
« FY 2012 was undoubtedly complicated, notably during the second and third quarters. However, by the year-end we were able to note the stabilizing of our business in relation to the two previous quarters and more especially growth in the order books. Generally, the high value added offers on which Micropole is positioned have continued to develop, enabling Micropole to begin the year 2013 on a more sustained sales dynamic than that seen at the start of last year. The pursuit of our development on differentiating, innovative and international geared business remains key for Micropole strategy and for our continuing growth in 2013 », comments Christian Poyau, Micropole CEO.