Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Alterian grows as North America recovers

(By Philip Carnelley, Nov 4 2009, 09:00) Marketing analytics and content management vendor Alterian has reported revenue up 40%, to £14.4m, for the half year to 30 Sep. The company showed an adjusted operating profit of £255k, but an operating loss of £259k – a big improvement on the previous year’s loss of £2.3m, which included £1m ‘pre-integration costs’. Net cash rose from £5.7m to £7.3m despite the Techrigy acquisition.

The big revenue jump was in part due to acquisitions (Mediasurface, back in July 08, and Techrigy), and also exchange rates: at constant currency (ccy), revenue was up 28%. But it’s a good performance, as we anticipated at year end (Alterian rises with Mediasurface). Alterian showed growth in all regions: North America was slightly weaker than other regions with 18% growth (ccy) – but as last (full) year’s figure for the US was just 2% growth ccy, that’s a big improvement.

The key to Alterian’s success is its focus on the marketing vertical. A functional product is just the table stakes. In a crowded market – and analytics and content management are some of the most competitive software markets in the world, with a plethora of competitors ranging from niche specialists to IBM and Oracle – then differentiation has to come from specialisation. Alterian is playing this game very well.

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