European IT services companies CMG and Sema Group have sloughed off the uncertainty surrounding the millennium changeover to report rapidly rising turnover and profit.
At Sema, pretax profit rose 35 per cent to £38.5 million on turnover that was up 25 per cent to £669 million, for the six months to June 30.
In the same period, CMG saw its half yearly turnover up 50 per cent to £290.5 million, with pretax profit rising 51 per cent to £36.8 million.
Sema posted strong growth in its systems integration division, where turnover rose 30 per cent to £293 million, partly thanks to continuing success in the UK outsourcing market.
Its finance, public sector and transport divisions also performed well.
Their strong performance flies in the face on analysts' predictions that mid sized services players would be hard hit by a substantial slowdown this year (see Newswire 18 August).
Sema made two acquisitions during the period: Prepaid mobile phone systems developer DS Telematica in Italy; and banking and telecoms specialist Informatica Technologica Services in Argentina.
Sema chief executive Pierre Bonelli was upbeat about the group's chances of sustaining its healthy growth figures.
"Given the strength of the order book and the strong prospects, we are confident we will not suffer any expected downturn due to Y2K uncertainties," Bonelli said in a statement.
CMG chairman Cor Stuttergeim was equally optimistic about his company's prospects.
While CMG's exceptionally high growth rate of the past year was unlikely to be sustained, CMG expected to continue expanding ahead of the market, Stuttergeim said in a statement.
"Our forward planning discussions with customers do not indicate any general slowdown or freezing of developments and we therefore continue to look forward to a very good set of results for the full year," he said.
"Looking forward into 2000, we are seeing increasing evidence of strong demand from our customers to address new applications and projects, giving us considerable confidence in our ability to continue to grow ahead of our chosen markets next year and beyond," he said.
Benelux business accounted for almost half CMG's turnover, with the UK division contributing £63 million.
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