Atos returns to sales growth in Q3, beats market expectations

PARIS (Reuters) -France’s Atos said on Wednesday its sales returned to growth in the third quarter, beating expectations as the loss-making IT consulting firm strives to regain markets’ trust by carrying out a costly split-up plan.

The group, whose stock price tumbled by 80% over the last 12 months, said it expected the positive momentum to go on in the fourth quarter and that it finalized financing for the separation of the group.

Revenue for the three months that ended on Sept. 30 rose by 1.1% at constant currency from a year earlier to 2.82 billion euros ($2.81 billion).

This beat the median average of 12 analyst estimates compiled by the company, which predicted a fall in quarterly sales of 0.4% at constant currency.

Atos confirmed its full-year targets, adding that it now expected revenue growth at constant currency to be in the “upper half” of the -0.5% to 1.5% range.

The group said its “book-to-bill” ratio, which helps investors evaluate the outlook for tech companies, amounted to 71% in the third quarter, indicating that fewer orders were received than filled over the period.

Atos also confirmed that the split-up plan, which includes spinning off and combining its most lucrative assets such as cybersecurity division BDS, was on track, with a completion expected in the second-half of 2023.

($1 = 1.0045 euros)

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Jacqueline Wong)

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