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At the Annual General Meeting of Sopheon plc to be held later today, the chairman of the board will give shareholders an update and review of the business. This will include the following statement:
“After strong growth in 2010, we reported 2011 revenues broadly similar to the prior year at £10.3m. EBITDA of £1.5m was also essentially the same as 2010, and in line with market expectations. Thanks to strict control of costs and enhanced conversion of development work into standard products, we achieved these results despite the expansion of staff in sales, services and development. For the second year in a row, we are also pleased to report a positive bottom-line profit after tax of £104,000.
Last year was characterized by strong demand from our client base for extension business, which absorbed the attention of our sales team. One consequence was that sales efforts were less focused on generating completely new accounts. We have now reorganized our sales resources to drive more balanced attention to both new account acquisition and generating additional growth out of our client base. We have already seen an improvement in new client acquisition compared to last year. We believe this will be reflected in improved license performance in 2012. In early 2011, we grew staff levels in key areas. These levels were maintained until recently, when increased demand led us to make further controlled expansion of staff. In particular, we advanced our market presence across Europe with the addition of two sales representatives. We also added technical resources across the business in response to growing service requirements. These hires were made with due caution given that global markets have not yet regained their poise.
During 2011, we introduced a new agile development methodology which has improved our ability to build products faster, and do a better job of ensuring that they are in step with real customer needs. A major product milestone was achieved with the release of Accolade® 8.0, offering enhanced support for project portfolio management and collaboration, integration with Microsoft’s SharePoint® and a mobile application for use with iPhone® and iPad® devices. We have also collaborated with Kalypso, the global innovation consulting firm and Sopheon partner, to introduce a new offering called FEI OptimizerTM that will help consumer goods manufacturers increase the value of new products by improving ideation and concept development.
On the corporate front, we successfully extended the maturity of the group’s £850,000 convertible loan by two years to January 2015, coupled with a modification of the conversion price to 5p. In addition, we are today requesting shareholders to approve the transfer of Sopheon’s listing from NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam to NYSE Alternext, an exciting market that is a better match for our corporate profile. This change is also subject to regulatory approval.
[b][b]Full year 2012 revenue visibility from contracted business and recurring revenue streams has now risen to £7.5 million compared to £6.5 million announced on 3 May, and £6.6 million at the time of our AGM statement a year ago. We expect this to translate into higher reported first-half revenues than in 2011. In addition, we are working to close a substantial amount of business in the remaining weeks of June. Accurate prediction of the timing and value of sales events remains difficult, but if closed this month, the new business would further boost first-half performance.”