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HP Enterprise Services to Strip Out $2bn of Annual Costs in Next Three Years in Pursuit of Margin of 7-9%

HP Enterprise Services has announced Q2 FY 2015 results, for the period ending April 30, 2015:

  • Revenue was $4,817m, down 15.5% y/y, and down 10% in constant currency (CC), reflecting key account run off and weakness in EMEA
  • Segment earnings before taxes (EBT) were $194m, a margin of 4.0%, up 143 bps y/y.

Q2 FY 2015 revenue by service line (with y/y revenue growth) was:

  • IT Outsourcing $2,871m (-20.2%, -10% in CC)
  • Applications and business services $1,946m (-7.6%, -2% in CC).

HP ES contributed 18% of HP Group revenue and 8% of Group EBT (up from 5% last quarter)

HP Group is nearing the completion of its 2012 restructuring plan. In Q2 FY 15, ~3.9k people exited HP making the total reduction to-date ~48k. The program has a total of 55k people expected to exit by the end of FY 2015, so a further 7k departures over the next two quarters.

HP has maintained full FY 2015 guidance for Enterprise Services of a revenue decline of between 4% and 6% on a constant currency basis, with an improvement in H2.

So where are the positives in HP ES' performance this quarter?

  • A significant improvement in revenue performance in the Apps and Business Services segment, with a CC y/y decline of just 2%. This is led by the BPO business. And some geos are showing flat to slight CC growth
  • Signings were up year over year, even without the $2bn Deutsche Bank deal closed at the beginning of the quarter (see our commentary here).
  • And “Strategic Enterprise Services” signings continue to grow.... though no details are provided.

But the problems continue at  HP ES’ ITO business. It not only continues to be impacted from contract runoff from three large accounts continues, but is also being challenged by the evolution in the market. Meg Whitman refers to “risk in the longer term sustainability of this profit level if we don’t do further cost reductions”. As such, the current intention is to streamline HP ES and take up to $2bn of gross annualized costs out of the business over the next three years in pursuit of a longer term EBT margin target of 7% to 9%. The likely charge represents around 9% of HP ES overall revenues - and 14% of the revenues of the ITO business.

The restructuring actions in HP ES and in particular ITO will include initiatives such as further offshoring, data center automation, pyramid management… the same actions highlighted by CSC earlier this week.

Nevetheless, Whitman has made a clear statement of commitment to the future of HP ES: "the Services business in ES - (and the) -  TS Consulting businesses are  becoming more strategic to the future of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise…. “increasingly, services is becoming the tip of the spear”.

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