Open-source business software firm SUSE reports double-digit growth

SUSE CEO Melissa Di Donato poses in Aynhoe Park, Banbury, Britain September 28, 2020. Kurt Rebry/via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) -Open-source enterprise software company SUSE said on Tuesday that big-ticket bookings grew by 21% in its fiscal fourth quarter, as the private equity-backed company with German roots completed its largest acquisition to date.

SUSE, acquired two years ago by Swedish investment fund EQT from Micro Focus International for $2.5 billion, has been a target of media speculation that it is planning an initial public offering of shares.

And, while CEO Melissa Di Donato declined to comment on the IPO talk, she did tell Reuters that SUSE was positioned for rapid growth as enterprises seek greater flexibility in running software on premise, in the cloud or in hybrid settings.

“Customers depend on us to be able to innovate with speed, adaptability and agility,” the American veteran of SAP, Salesforce, IBM and Oracle, said in an interview.

SUSE, founded in 1992, is working with companies including Walgreens on the U.S. pharmacy chain’s largest S/4 HANA retail environment on the Microsoft Azure cloud.

The Linux specialist has just completed its own acquisition of Rancher Labs, a leader in Kubernetes, an open-source system for managing ‘containerised’ tasks that can run automatically in different settings.

The Rancher deal was valued at $600 million, according to reports when it was announced in July.

SUSE said revenue exceeded $450 million in the fiscal year to Oct. 31, with both the top line and profit growing in double digits. Revenue was up from a reported $320 million in 2017, the year before the company was acquired by EQT.

The annual contract value of bookings worth more than $1 million grew by 21% in its fiscal fourth quarter, while cloud bookings jumped by 87%, the company said.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Susan Fenton