Altran is on track to achieve its highest profit over the past ten years, as said by Altran CEO Philippe Salle in a recent interview with Reuters. The improved financial performance is the result of the new strategic roadmap 2012-2015 and several restructuring efforts concluded last year. With its improved financials, the consulting firm of French origin plans to actively pursue several acquisitions.
Profit of € 64 million expected in 2012
“The net result this year may be our best performance of the past 10 years”, thus the CEO. Last year, the firm made a loss of €46 million. This year, analysts expect a net profit of €64 million. The operating margin is expected to increase from 8% in 2011 to 8.5% in 2012. The favourable financial perspective is also reflected by the price of Altran shares: since the beginning of the year the Altran share price has increased by more than 30%.
Plans for acquisitions
With the improved finances, Salle is expecting to make several acquisitions. “As we will end this year with a positive cash balance, we can begin to be a predator on the market, which I find very important,” said Philip Salle. The CEO confirmed that several acquisitions are expected in Europe. First priority is to lower the reliance on Southern Europe markets – in 2011 approximately 65% of the group’s revenue originated from this region. In order to do so, it plans to strengthen its position in Northern Europe through large acquisitions in both Germany and Great Britain in 2013. In addition, further acquisitions are expected in Southern Europe and in one of its key growth markets, India.
New strategic course for Altran
After a number of difficult financial years, Altran launched a new strategic course in 2011. The key drivers include focus on six key European markets, medium-sized acquisitions in emerging markets and increasing the turnover to more than €2 billion in 2015, coupled with a higher EBITA margin. At the same time, Altran decided to divest non-core businesses. In January 2012, Arthur D. Little was sold to partners of the strategy consulting firm and Hilson Moran was sold in the United Kingdom and Italy.
In addition to this, CEO Philippe Salle (formerly McKinsey & Company) renovated a part of the management team of the consulting firm. In the months that followed, several leadership appointments were made, including a new Communications Director, Purchasing Director and Director of Business Development for Asia.