29.04.2008 |

S&T: IT consulting and solutions business records +55% growth in Q1

EBIT up 40%

The success of the S&T Group’s strategy has been confirmed by the IT consulting and solution provider’s Q1 2008 results. The company has been pushing its consulting, solutions and service operations as they are less affected by seasonal influences than the IT infrastructure business. During the traditionally weak business period at the start of the year, S&T recorded growth in sales of 12% and EBIT growth of 40%. “As expected, after record results in the 4th Quarter of 2007 and for the 2007 financial year as a whole, our growth is set to continue. We have won new and strategically important business. At the same time we have successfully completed other contracts and laid solid foundations for another successful year in 2008,” explains Christian Rosner, CEO S&T.

A boom in IT consulting and solutions

The IT consulting and solutions area of the business recorded particularly outstanding results in the 1st Quarter of 2008 – rising 55% to €34.6m. By 2010, the company plans to generate more than 60% of its sales from both this and the Managed Services business areas. S&T’s results reflect the expectations of market experts – the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) published a survey in April 2008 that highlighted strong demand for IT services. Current public discussion of the value of IT has also led to full order books in the consulting area. Many CIOs and IT decision makers need support when it comes to introducing transparent evaluation systems, structures and processes with which they can demonstrate and communicate IT’s positive contribution to the bottom line.

In addition, S&T is one of the leading ERP/SAP consulting and implementation partners in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in the German-speaking countries. Growth in the Business Solutions area of the company can be attributed to numerous successful ERP and SAP projects, as well as Business Intelligence contracts, throughout S&T countries. For example, S&T implemented a modern SAP system for the Serbian Direct Trade and Direct Group – the project was worth more than half a million euros. In Russia, S&T optimized Danone’s analysis and reporting system as part of a large and comprehensive project. Meanwhile S&T Romania was named as the country’s leading ERP provider in a report by Pierre Audoin Consultants that was published at the beginning of the year.

Multi-million euro contracts in the Managed Services area

“Particularly in the DACH region, we have achieved a good market position by assuming responsibility for the servicing of entire IT areas,” explains Rosner. Numerous large contracts in this area in Q1 led to an organic sales growth of 18% to €23m. One contract alone was worth €1.8m: The S&T Group was contracted by ISS Facility Services to manage the planning, implementation and servicing of a data center, as well as the IT setup for 450 workstations and 140 printers at 51 ISS locations.

In addition, January saw S&T begin work on the implementation of a multi-million euro Managed Desktop Service contract in 14 countries for OMV. Rosner: “IT managers are acknowledging the challenge of gradually having to develop IT into a business partner rather than simply a service provider. For this reason, many companies are increasingly entrusting the commodity end of their IT operations to an external service provider so that they can concentrate on strategic IT aspects.” As expected, Q1 also saw the Enterprise Systems business unit with sales of €59m demonstrating robust and profitable performance.

S&T Stock: No. 1 in ATX Prime Market in March

Despite the negative influence of ongoing turbulence on stock exchanges throughout the world, a 7.4% increase in March saw S&T outperforming all other shares of Austria’s ATX Prime Index. Rosner: “Our stock remains attractive – particularly compared with other IT shares.”