Tech firm’s performance ‘robust’

Specialist technology firm First Derivatives has called its trading performance during the first half of its current financial year "robust", adding that full-year performance should be in line with forecasts.

In a trading update, the Newry-headquartered firm said performance for the six months to the end of August has been “in line with management expectations”.

First Derivatives provides tailored software solutions for investment banks, traders, and hedge fund administrators.

Both revenue and pre-tax earnings were ahead of the corresponding period last year. The company saw revenues increase by 24% to nearly £70m (€89m) in the 12 months to the end of February, while pre-tax profits were ahead by almost 30% to £7.9m.

Analyst consensus is for pre-tax earnings, before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation, of between £14.8m and £15m for the full year.

Yesterday, First Derivatives also announced a potentially lucrative product contract which will see it provide its Delta software platform to New York-based equity trading venue IEX.

The US firm will use Delta to provide trade surveillance and analytics, with the system set to audit billions of market data records on a daily basis.

First Derivatives chief executive Brian Conlon said the company is engaged in a number of additional contract discussions regarding Delta, “across a range of use cases”.

He added that surveillance has been identified by management as “a sweet spot” for the platform’s use.

“Over the past decade, First Derivatives has helped electronic trading platforms meet the challenge of managing rapid growth in US market data volumes,” said executive Gerry Buggy. “That experience, combined with our global surveillance teams’ domain knowledge, has proved to be a powerful combination.”

Noting the appointment of Ian Mitchell as head of investor relations, Rachael Cairns of Goodbody Stockbrokers hailed “a positive statement” from First Derivatives.

“We are unlikely to make any significant changes to our numbers following [the] announcement, but we would note that should the group gain further traction in software there is upside potential to our forecasts,” said Ms Cairns.


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