* H1 revenue down 1.9 percent year-on-year
* CEO Breton says decline due to accelerated restructuring
* Repeats aims for y-o-y revenue growth
* Bull acquisition to be completed on Aug. 11
* Atos shares rise 3 percent
(Adds CEO comment, details)
PARIS, July 29 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
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
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
(1 US dollar = 0.7447 euro)
(Reporting by Nicholas Vinocur; Editing by James Regan)