BARCELONA (Reuters) - Top European IT services providers Atos (ATOS.PA) and Capgemini (CAPP.PA) said on Thursday they were optimistic on outlook with customers continuing to invest despite macroeconomic worries in many European markets.
“We are quite confident... we intend to go back to growth in 2012,” Atos senior executive vice president Gilles Grapinet told an investor conference in Barcelona.
“We don’t see customers postponing investments,” he said.
Last week research firm Gartner said spending on IT by companies and governments will shrink this year in Western Europe and grow only modestly in 2012 as governments cut back their investments due to the euro zone crisis.
In 2008 many European companies froze their IT investment plans, quickly hitting the IT services firms.
“A fall of 2011 is not at all a fall of 2008. In 2008 there were instant freezes,” said CapGemini Chief Executive Paul Hermelin.
“So far companies have allowed their CIOs (chief investment officers) to spend their 2011 budgets. We have not seen a slowdown. The mood in the field is relatively positive,” Hermelin said.
Last week Capgemini stuck to its target to grow sales as much as 10 percent and boost its margin this year despite economic uncertainty, sending shares rallying.
Smaller vendor Indra Sistemas (IDR.MC), which generates more than half of its sales in Spain, is still seeing its sales growing 2 percent in 2011.
“After the crisis our company will be stronger,” said Chief Financial Officer Juan Carlos Baena Martin, adding the firm was winning market share as some rivals are disappearing and clients are trying to cut the number of IT suppliers.
Editing by Mike Nesbit