As it declared interim pre-tax profits up 13% at the equivalent of $25.9m, Norsk Data A/S yesterday warned its followers not to be disappointed by the significant slow-down in its growth rate. Announcing turnover of $186.6m, up 24%, it said that results were in line with those management had been forecasting since the beginning of […]
As it declared interim pre-tax profits up 13% at the equivalent of $25.9m, Norsk Data A/S yesterday warned its followers not to be disappointed by the significant slow-down in its growth rate. Announcing turnover of $186.6m, up 24%, it said that results were in line with those management had been forecasting since the beginning of the year. It added that, even though some analysts were reluctant to scale back their projections, the figures were in line with its current plan, and it was continuing to win market share in Norway and other major markets. It reckons its previously sparkling growth rate is taking a tumble as a result of slowing growth in the computer systems market and because it is growing from a larger base. The company increased its order backlog by $1,720m in the first half of 1987 after receiving orders for computer systems and equipment worth $14,300m: that’s an increase of 8.3% on the same time last year. The company’s book-to-bill ratio in the first six months was 1.09 against 1.06 for the same time in 1986. Orders are increasingly based on turnkey computer systems where hardware and system software, is combined with complete ready-to-go applications. Main areas include office support systems and information systems built around the Notis product family, Comtec division’s integrated systems for newspaper and publishing industries, and Technovision products for CAD/CAM. Norsk says that Norwegian business saw a growth in orders equal to that of the entire non-Norwegian business. Some countries, like Denmark and Sweden, have recorded more than a 60% increase in bookings although overseas figures have declined as have those in smaller markets. Nonetheless the UK and Germany have seen operating revenues increasing by more than 50%. Strong inroads have been made on the German market, where the company had a ready-made industrial customer base as a result of the Dietz acquisition, and has seen rapid growth there of the CAD/CAM product sales. Norsk saw little revenue from its US ventures but reckons this was expected, and adds that the F16 aircraft simulator contract it holds over there is long term and will reap rewards in the future. The company’s Far Eastern revenue fell, as expected, after it peaked in India in the last half of last year.
Norsk broke its silence on the Wordplex acquisition to outline its strategy for the future. The company holds 80% of Wordplex at present and intends to push that up to 90% as soon as possible. Within the next 15 months the UK operations of the two companies will have been fully integrated. Norsk has plans to restructure Wordplex abroad although the Spanish and Australian subsidiaries are to remain separate entities, being considered sufficiently profitable on their own. The acquisition of Wordplex will enhance Norsk’s current product line and steps are being taken to build bridges between product ranges. Norsk also announced yesterday that it intends to file a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a public offering of non-voting Class B shares. This will take effect in the United States and elsewhere, Norway included. It would not comment on the size or timing of the offering until an extraordinary meeting of shareholders has been called. The company concluded cheerily that it is competing more and more on having the best total solution for users and that is why it wins out time and again against operations like IBM and DEC.The shares ended the day unchanged at 2,525 pence.