FD Technologies ‘will be largely shielded from UK recession’

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Gary McDonald Business Editor

19 October, 2022 03:00

THE head of Newry-based FD Technologies insists the group will be largely shielded from any fall-out of the UK’s economy plunging into recession.

Chief executive Seamus Keating said: “A key strength for us is that 70 per cent of our business now comes from outside the UK, so we’re not dependent on the health of its economy.

“Yes, it’s important we have economic stability in the UK, because that supports investment decisions. But the UK market is not our bread and butter.”

He was speaking as the AIM-listed company reported an overall 15 per cent increase in revenues in the half year to August 31 to £147.4 million (up from £128 million previously),

Gross profit for the period came in at £60.2m, which is 16 per cent higher on a year-over-year basis, and the company generated a pre-tax profit of £1.1 million compared to a loss of £1.6 million in the first six months of the 2021 fiscal year.

“The strategy we laid out 18 months ago is delivering results, and we’re laying foundations for accelerated growth from here,” Mr Keating told the Irish News.

FD Technologies, formerly known as First Derivatives, primarily provides software and services to investment banks and other financial institutions.

It is focusing heavily at present on the growth of KX, its real-time continuous intelligence technology.

Revenue from this segment of the business increased by 19 per cent to £37.8m, and the annual recurring revenue of KX also increased by 41 per cent, covering 71 per cent of the total revenue of the segment.

The company’s focus on KX has been underlined with the recent appointment of Ashok Reddy as chief executive of that division (he is an industry veteran with three decades of experience in engineering and enterprise software).

“Ashok’s appointment is already benefitting KX through his significant experience in scaling product-led enterprise technology businesses,” Mr Keating added.

The services of the group’s First Derivative consulting business reported revenues of £86.2m, an increase of 22 per cent.

But the one negative to the half-year report was an 8 per cent decline in sales at its MRP division, which uses predictive intelligence and cutting-edge predictive analytics to provide technology companies with a suite of account-based marketing solutions.

Mr Keating said: “Part of our MRP business is in the US-led tech sector, which has cut back on some of its spending.

“But my sense is that the US may not go into recession, because there’s enough demand and enough confidence for them to get inflation under control. That’s good for us, and we expect to see better growth going forward.”

FD Technologies, which remains one of the north’s biggest graduate recruiters, took on 300 more people this year (it now employs more than 3,100 staff), and Mr Keating predicts there’s more to come.

“We’re not forcing our people to be in the office for a set number of days a week, and they are really enjoying that level of flexibility,” he added.

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