Sopheon plc, the international provider of software and services that improve the financial return from innovation and product development investments, announces that it expects revenues for the year ended 31 December 2009 to exceed £8 million. This compares to £9.3 million in 2008, and £6.3 million in 2007. In our last update to the markets we noted that the tough economic environment of the last few quarters was showing some signs of improvement, with the potential to make the final quarter of 2009 the strongest of the year. This proved to be the case, with 21 new and extension license orders in the fourth quarter, compared to a total of 27 for the previous three quarters.
In addition to the improvement in sales, the careful adjustments that we made to our cost base earlier in 2009 contributed to an operating result for the second half of the year that has come in around the breakeven level. Accordingly, while the year-end close process is not complete, initial indications are that the Group’s result for the year will be better than the analyst expectation of a £0.5 million EBITDA loss. The gross cash balance at 31 December 2009 stood at £1.6 million.
An important factor in such tough economic times is the strength of customer relationships, and approximately 70% of the value of new orders (excluding recurring revenues) in 2009 was derived from our existing customers. As we start 2010, revenue visibility for the current year already stands over £4 million* and our sales pipeline remains resilient. However, we are well aware that, by historical standards, sales cycles are slow, and pricing is under pressure. Accordingly, we continue to adopt a prudent stance.
As noted in earlier announcements, we have maintained investment in product and marketing during the course of a very tough 2009. Our goal remains to be a leader in the Product Portfolio Management (PPM) market. Analysts predict that PPM will be the fastest growing segment of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Achievements during the year include the launch of Accolade® Idea Lab™, a major new version of Accolade Vision Strategist™, and significant enhancements to the capabilities of the core Accolade Process Manager™ platform. We introduced new marketing capabilities that leverage emerging channels such as social media, and have also advanced our relationship with key commercial partners.
Financial expectations noted above are subject to completion of the year-end financial close and audit processes. Sopheon plans to issue its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2009, on 25 March 2010.
* As defined in our announcement of 25 June 2008, visibility at any point in time comprises revenue expected from (i) closed license orders, including those which are contracted but conditional on acceptance decisions scheduled later in the year; (ii) contracted services business delivered or expected to be delivered in the year; and (iii) recurring maintenance, hosting and rental streams.
Barry Mence, Chairman, commented:
“2009 posed a number of difficult challenges to overcome. Having a profitable fourth quarter shows that we reacted appropriately to balancing investment with cost containment. Our current pipeline, coupled with our unique solution set and the continued maturing of our chosen market, give me continued confidence in our quest to improve shareholder value.
Sopheon (LSE: SPE) is an international provider of software and services that help organisations improve the business impact of product innovation. Sopheon’s solutions automate and govern the innovation process, enabling companies to increase revenue and profits from new products. Sopheon’s solutions are used by industry leaders throughout the world, including BASF, Cadbury, Corning, Electrolux, General Motors, Honeywell, Motorola and SABMiller. Sopheon is listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange and on the Euronext in the Netherlands. For more information, please visit www.sopheon.com.