The Atos share tumbled nearly 18% Monday morning, in the first exchanges on the Paris Stock Exchange, the group being sanctioned for presenting disappointing preliminary financial figures. At 9:10 am, the title fell 17.96% to 31.66 euros in a stable market (-0.02%). The French IT giant (107,000 employees) announced “preliminary financial figures for 2021 lower than its objectives”, with a decline in turnover. Its turnover, of around 10.8 billion euros, fell by around 2.4%, while Atos expected to stabilize.
The cash flow is of the order of -420 million euros, while the objective was “positive”, the group said in a press release. “Most of the elements constituting these important differences are non-recurring”, commented Rodolphe Belmer, the new managing director who has just taken office at the head of the French group, quoted in the press release. “In this context, I will present to the board of directors at the end of February a new organization, and in the second quarter a plan which will detail the drivers (of) recovery” of the group, he added.
Atos, led for more than ten years by Thierry Breton before he became European Commissioner in October 2019, has been in a bad financial and stock market situation for several months. Elie Girard, the former financial director who had taken the reins of the group after the departure of Thierry Breton, was pushed to the exit in October 2021, after two years in office.
According to Atos, the decrease in turnover compared to forecasts is explained in particular by project delays and postponements of final agreements with major customers, as well as a revision of the rate of progress on a contract of process outsourcing with a large UK financial institution. Regarding the free cash flow, “the major difference (…) results mainly from the need for working capital”, clarified Rodolphe Belmer.
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