UPDATE 1-Atos forecasts increase in full-year profit

Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:51am EDT

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* Atos shares rise 3 percent (Adds CEO comment, details)

PARIS, July 29 (Reuters) - French IT service firm Atos forecast an increase in full-year net profit and revenue on Tuesday thanks to cost cuts and an expected pick-up in orders in the second half.

Revenue in the first six months of the year dipped 1.9 percent on an organic basis to 4.176 billion euros ($5.61 billion) due to a slower economic environment, mainly in Germany and France, Atos said.

Net profit was 76 million euros, down 34 percent compared to the first half of 2013.

Chief Executive Thierry Breton said the group had accelerated a planned restructuring in the first half of the year, maintaining forecasts for full-year increases in net profit and revenue.

"We are doing things quickly so that on the full year, and that's really what counts, on the full year we are aiming for a net result that will be an improvement on last year," he told journalists.

Atos launched a flotation of its Worldline mobile payments arm in July. It also plans to complete its acquisition of Bull, a cloud and cybersecurity firm, at a price of 4.90 euros per share, next month.

The result of the offer will be published on Aug. 11, Breton said.

The purchase of Bull follows unsuccessful bids for Nordic payments provider Nets and a recent approach for Groupe Steria, a French IT services firm.

Acquiring Bull could help Atos, which competes with global IT giants such as IBM and Accenture, improve its position in the fast-growing Big Data and cybersecurity sectors in Europe, Africa and Brazil.

First-half operating profit was 274.6 million euros, for a margin of 6.6 percent of revenue, an improvement of 20 basis points on a year ago.

Shares in Atos were 3 percent higher at 59.35 euros by 0746 GMT. The stock had fallen close to a fifth since its early-March peak. (1 US dollar = 0.7447 euro) (Reporting by Nicholas Vinocur; Editing by James Regan)

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