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Tieto Q2 2014 Revenues: Product Development Business Remains Problematic

Tieto's Q2 2014 revenues were €386.4m, down 7.3% y/y, and down 1.3% y/y at constant currency. (for full details see here

Q2 2014 revenue (and growth both on an actual and CC/organic basis) by service line was:

  • Managed Services: €132m (+5%, +9%). Half of the CC organic growth this quarter resulted from hardware reselling as part of a large IT infrastructure management contract
  • Consulting & Systems Integration: €97m (-10%, -4%). Tieto continues to suffer in its AM unit, which represents half of revenues of C&SI. Meanwhile, the company is recording double digit growth in its growth business, which include its Customer Experience Management and transformational consulting
  • Industry Products: €97m (-7%, +2%). Industry Products enjoyed good growth in healthcare (a key priority offering) and welfare, but suffered in the financial services sector in Russia and Latvia, as well as postponed decisions in oil & gas
  • Product Development Services (PDS): €60m (-24%, -19%). Tieto still suffers from its two largest clients, assumed by NelsonHall to be NSN and Ericsson, insourcing their R&D service activities. The company is developing its client base in California, but not fast enough to stabilize the business.

Tieto continues to be a recovery story in terms of profitability: EBIT reached 5.6% of revenues, and 7.8% excluding one-off items. The company has maintained its midterm objective of reaching a 10% EBIT margin, including one-offs. While all units in IT services have decent profitability and increasing, Product Development Services (PDS) continues to drag profitability of the company overall.

The recent announcement of massive lay-offs by Microsoft in its Nokia handset business did not seem to worry Tieto management. Nokia is no longer a major client, since it has stopped and sold its Symbian business. NSN remains a top 2 client for Tieto’s Product Development Services unit. 

One can't blame the company for having migrated delivery location to offshore: offshore ratio for PDS is 61.6% (Q2 2013: 60.8%) while it stands at 42.0% for IT services personnel. However, one can certainly blame the company for not having diversified earlier its client base.

Revenue growth has unfavorably impacted by the performance of PDS (-19% in CC/organic). Excluding PDS, IT services revenue growth was up +3% (EVRY +2%). The company is satisfied with the performance of its Managed Services unit and is really focusing on its project services business, which includes C&SI and Industry Products. In C&SI, it is getting back to basic with high focus on utilization rates, portfolio management (mobile and omni-channel overall, transformation consulting). Tieto acknowledge it needs to make its application management cost-competivive, largely through automation, something it has achieved already in its Managed Services business (IT infrastructure management).

The comparison with Capgemini comes to mind. Capgemini has the same levels of offshoring as Tieto. Like Tieto, Capgemini is more of a C&SI company than an IT infrastructure management one. Capgemini finally increased the cost competitiveness of its AM offering in 2012/2013, and seems very optimistic about recent wins and its pipeline. Also both companies focus heavily on portfolio management, something Capgemini started much earlier. There is no reason therefore that Tieto could not replicate the apparent success of Capgemini in AM and C&SI.

Both companies have a R&D services business of roughly the same size. Yet, Tieto has suffered for years from the state of the European telecoms equipment manufacturing industry. Capgemini is now beginning to experience the pains of Airbus having completed its major airplane design and development programs. Capgemini has taken action and launched its Global Engineering Services unit last year, which may help balancing work. Tieto could not indicate when its PDS unit would stabilize. Development relationships with new client is a priority. In all likelihood, Tieto will be under pressure to fix or sell the business. The stock of Tieto is down 6% today, after the results, with much questioning on PDS.

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