Micro Focus stabilises after year of bid talks with profits jump

MICRO Focus yesterday reported a 30.4 per cent jump in annual pre-tax profits, sending its shares up by almost six per cent.

Executive chairman Kevin Loosemore said: “The year ended 30 April 2012 was a period of stabilisation of Micro Focus’ business after the disappointments of the previous year and the opportunistic approaches from private equity.”

The FTSE 250 company was at the centre of ongoing takeover talks for several months last year – with a number of suitors including private equity firms Bain Capital and Advent International – but discussions fell through in August.

Micro Focus said revenues were in line with guidance, coming in flat at $434.8m, as strong trading in Asia Pacific and Japan offset declining income from its International division “where macro economic conditions remained challenging”.

Despite a three per cent drop in maintenance revenues, down to $230.9m, licence revenues – which declined significantly the year before – climbed five per cent to $176.6m.

Pre-tax profits jumped by almost a third to $149.3m, from $114.5m the previous year.

The Berkshire-based company, which has 1,200 employees across 20 countries, raised its final dividend per share by 44 per cent to 23.4 cents.