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March 2006
Editorial

The real European alternative

2005: Bull exceeds its targets and confirms its growth

D Lamouche


Bull recently published its results for 2005 and ended the financial year with revenues of almost €1.2 billion, growing by 3%. Over the year, the products business grew by 11% and services by 4.1%. This performance is all the more significant since our progress accelerated in Q4, when we achieved an 8.3% growth rate, including 16.8% in products and 9.9% in services. The erosion of the maintenance business, mainly due to the increased reliability of new technologies was stabilized in Q4 and we have set in motion an action plan to relaunch this activity.

Other strong signs were the continued confirmation of the Group’s profitability, with a net profit of €15.8 million, up by 11%, and an 8% increase in the order book.
The 2005 results show how Bull has been transformed. The Group has demonstrated its ability to deliver on its commitments and win the confidence of prestigious customers the world over on vital and highly complex projects. To mention just a few: the French Post Office, where we are helping to modernize the automated mail sorting system, with Lockheed Martin; the Brazilian federal police force, for their new biometric passport authentication and control system; our new OEM agreement with Indian manufacturer HCL for our NovaScale server technology; and the successful delivery of Tera-10 – the champion of the European supercomputers – to the CEA (French Atomic Energy Authority).
Bull’s image has been transformed, and we have launched a corporate communications campaign under the banner ‘Architect of an Open World’ to put the company back on the radar screen in the IT world, with a more modern and open image.
In profit since 2003, with its recapitalization complete and growing healthily, Bull has embarked into 2006 with great ambition.

Horizon 2008, a three-year strategic plan to lead the pack in Europe
Europe needs a truly European alternative for every strategic industry sector. IT is the only industry where, except Bull, there is no one major European player. That is why I believe that Bull has a perfect right to aspire to the leading position in the Europe IT market.
Horizon 2008 is our strategic development plan designed to ensure that the Group makes the most of the opportunities offered by the current revolution in IT, linked notably to open technologies. Bull is a global provider of 'end-to-end' mission critical IT solutions and infrastructures for businesses and public sector bodies alike. Horizon 2008 focuses on three key priorities: strengthening our operational efficiency to align us with the best in the industry; accelerating the growth of our Services business, which should eventually contribute over 50% of the Group’s revenues; and adapting the profile of the Group in order to consolidate our positioning in the world of open systems technologies.
Alongside its mature offerings – such as the GCOS and Escala server ranges, maintenance, support and outsourcing – Bull will concentrate on the following key engines for growth: high-performance computing (HPC) and large business applications with its NovaScale server family, data storage solutions, security, Open Source services and systems integration (notably in the public sector, telecoms and media, health, defense and some emerging markets).
By 2008, we anticipate that the Group will deliver revenues of between €1.3 and €1.4 billion, on continuing business, and a total of between €1.7 and €1.9 billion following acquisitions, with a post-acquisition operating profit of at 6%.
With the powerful combination of a clear strategic vision and its areas of expertise, I am convinced that Bull will be both a unifying force for information technology in Europe and a major player on the international stage capable of supporting your most vital business projects.

Didier Lamouche
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


 

 

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