Data#3 forecasts stronger first-half results

Data#3 forecasts stronger first-half results

Assets and profit continues to grow despite an inflated contract and a tough economy

Data#3 Limited (ASX:DTL) is on track to return better first-half FY09/10 results than for the same period last year.

According to Data#3 chairman, Richard Anderson’s address to its annual general meeting in Brisbane, the company's net assets rose from $21.3 million in June 30, 2008, to $23.3m June 30, 2009.

Revenue rose by 45.9 per cent to $530.5m. Net profit jumped by 7.6 per cent to $9.8m in the same period.

But Data#3 managing director, John Grant, was keen to point out the inflation of first-half revenue figures was caused by a billing delay more than anything else.

“It’s not materially above last year,” he said. “We expect revenue to be up by about 40 per cent year-on-year, but that’s a one-off as a result of billings to the Federal Government that were not done in the first half of last year but were billed in the first half of this year.”

Grant was pleased Data#3 was performing well amid a difficult financial climate given IT budgets had experienced heavy slashing.

“IT budgets this year have been depressed compared to last year, but we’re comfortable that we can say by the end of December we will be, compared to last year, a little bit better,” he said.

Grant predicted a difficult second half due to ongoing uncertainty among enterprise customers.

“We’re a bit cautious about the second half of this year. There are a lot of positive signs in the market everyone can point to, but we believe IT budgets this year were cast in the very dire circumstances of last year and will therefore be less than last year,” he said. “Our view is that the second half will be flat. We’re building our business case around that.

“If we go through this year as the indicators would have us believe, there will be a lot more opportunity for investment in ICT next year. I think next year will be a better year.”

While Grant was not able to disclose details about ongoing negotiations, he expected major contract decisions with state governments to be reached by Christmas.

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