Gemalto aims to double profit from operations by 2017

NEW YORK Thu Sep 5, 2013 2:37pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - French smart cards maker Gemalto (GTO.AS) expects to double profit from operations over the next five years and achieve double-digit average annual revenue increases through 2017 by focusing on mobile, security and network activities.

Gemalto Chief Executive Officer Olivier Piou told an investor conference in New York that profit from operations would reach 600 million euros ($787 million) in 2017 and revenue from platforms and services would be at least 1 billion euros.

The maker of smart chips for mobile phones and bank payment cards also said it plans to continue with bolt-on acquisitions and promised its shareholders that its annual dividend would remain stable or grow.

The company will benefit from growing demand for SIM cards, especially in developing countries, but also products built around machine-to-machine communications and its core services that help secure infrastructure and manage networks, said Philippe Vallee of Gemalto's telecoms unit.

Vallee, executive vice president of the unit, said the company was also concentrating on telecoms operators upgrading their networks to long-term evolution, which allows higher speeds and faster mobile web services.

"We are watching two technology upgrades, long-term evolution and security," he said.

Shares in Gemalto, which replaced struggling telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA) in France's CAC 40 index .FCHI of top companies in December, closed down 0.7 percent at 86.26 euros on Thursday, giving the company a market value of 7.6 billion euros.

The stock is up 48 percent in the last four months.

Gemalto was formed from a merger of Axalto Holding and Gemplus International in June 2006.

($1 = 0.7623 euros)

(Editing by James Regan and Anthony Barker)