In 2009, Bull once again demonstrated its ability to perform well in the context of declining markets, with annual operating profit ahead of target. In effect, across the whole financial year, order intake was higher for all our core businesses (now representing 93% of the total). Driven by innovation, they recorded better performance than their respective markets, which shrank by between 5% and 15%.
The successful execution of our strategy has been reflected in the signing of some important hosting and outsourcing contracts with new customers in both the public and private sectors, as well as by the strong growth in our Extreme Computing and enterprise server businesses. Finally, we have updated our skill-base to a significant extent, to support the Group’s transformation: over half of our workforce has now been with the company for less than four years. And because we are confident in the solidity of our financial model, we are planning to recruit a further 600 people in 2010 (650 in 2009).
In 2010, we will be further strengthening our business model: our ambition in joining forces with Amesys being to create a European leader in solutions for high-security and mission-critical systems. A whole new chapter in Bull’s history is opening up. Thanks to the unprecedented combination of Amesys’ skills in signal processing and Bull’s capabilities in large-scale information processing, we will consolidate our new dimension, which positions us as a major European player in today’s digital economy. In organizational terms, integrating Amesys into the Group will involve creating a new division – Security and Mission-Critical Systems – led by Philippe Vannier, President of the Amesys group.
Our fundamental strengths, combined with this rejuvenation and enlargement of the business, will enable us to look forward to the future together in a positive way.
On behalf of all our staff, I thank you again for your continued confidence in Bull.