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17 Nov 2020 | 15:11

Blue Prism flags 'strong' full-year performance

(Sharecast News) - Automation specialist Blue Prism announced a "strong" full-year performance in a trading update on Tuesday, despite Covid-19 headwinds, with full-year bookings of £180m contributing to an expected 40% growth in revenues, in line with consensus expectations. The AIM-traded firm said that as at 31 October, it had around £310m in remaining performance obligations (RPO), demonstrating "significant" year-on-year growth in the level of ongoing customer commitments.

It said the increase in customer commitments was driven by total bookings of £180m, 60% of which was secured in the second half and £122m of which represented new business from new customers and upsells.

The Blue Prism Cloud product saw a "very strong" 147% growth in bookings, and now contributed around 17% of the new bookings achieved by the group.

It said it also saw large and more strategic commitments to Blue Prism Cloud, as part of large enterprise adoption of this delivery format.

The customer base was described as diverse in both geography and sector, with a revenue split of 41% from the Americas, 47% from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and 12% from Asia-Pacific, while customers derived from more than 70 commercial verticals.

Blue Prism said it added more than 490 new customers during 2020, while maintaining a gross revenue retention rate of around 98%.

The total customer base at 31 October was over 2,000, up from 1,677 year-on-year, providing an increased foundation to build on in future periods with further upselling.

Upselling activity showed early signs of recovery in the second half, the board reported, driving full-year net revenue retention rate to improve to 113%, from 110% in the first half.

Over a third of the customer base at the end of 2019 added extra licences to their digital workforce during the year.

The directors said the full-year impact of the 2019 financial year exit run-rate, strong revenue retention, and new business drove a "strong" financial performance for the year ended 31 October.

Revenues for the year were expected to be in line with consensus expectations, implying a growth rate of around 40% for the year.

The group said it closed the year with around £154m in annual recurring revenues, or monthly recurring revenues of around £12.8m.

It said it now expected the adjusted EBITDA loss to be better than consensus estimates, and added that it ended the period with a closing cash position of £137.6m, down from £140.8m at the interim.

The board also said it had started exploring a potential secondary listing in the United States, although no decisions regarding the terms or timing of a potential secondary listing had been made, and there was no certainty that a US listing would take place.

"I am very pleased with the resilience and strength our business has shown through the extraordinary events of 2020," said chairman and chief executive officer Jason Kingdon.

"In the second half we have seen strong revenue retention with an acceleration in new business signed, particularly from Blue Prism Cloud.

"I am very pleased with the level of innovation from the Company too - with a step change in product releases and enhancements."

Kingdon said that included platform upgrades, 'Blue Prism Accelerators' for use with SAP 'ERP' and 'Interact', offering enhanced 'human-in-the-loop' capabilities for secure, scalable and enterprise attended automation.

"We exit the financial year with a strong pipeline, underpinning our belief that intelligent automation will be key to driving recovery across enterprises of all sizes."

Blue Prism said it would report its financial results for the year ended 31 October on 14 January.

At 1503 GMT, shares in Blue Prism Group were up 9.5% at 1,752p.
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