Message from Simon Azoulay
(extract from annual report 2012)
« By the beginning of 2017, we should have 20,000 employees,
be doing more than half of our business abroad..»
HOW DO YOU RATE ALTEN’S PERFORMANCE IN 2012?
In volume terms, the first half of the year was very positive, despite the cautious noises we were hearing from many clients at the end of 2011 as the financial markets stagnated. the reality of the long crisis in europe caught up with us in the second half. some clients had no visibility in their markets or on their future investment budgets. In this tricky environment, aLten still managed to end the year with organic growth of 8.7% and has consolidated its status as a major player in the european engineering and technology consulting market. growth was stronger internationally, where there are still many regions to conquer, than in France, which is a more mature market when it comes to outsourcing practices and where we have already built a strong position. As for profitability, the key to any company’s profits is the quality of its management and its organisation. there is currently a 10-point disparity in the margins being made by different players in the industry. aLten’s profitability has held up robustly throughout. Profitability remained in double digits in 2012, thanks to our rapid international development into higher-margin regions. this global performance is all the more impressive as it was achieved just as we are accelerating the transformation of our offer, moving towards a greater level of commitment and investing heavily in a dedicated technical management organisation for structured projects. after three years under construction, in 2012 this organisation reached a phase of maturity and continuous improvement.
WHERE DOES ALTEN STAND IN ITS MARKET?
ALTEN has reaffirmed its position as a leader in France and internationally. We are developing strongly in all our target countries. We are staying faithful to the initial choices that made us successful, both business positioning – we are a company of engineers – and level of intervention – we are firmly rooted in studies and conception. This consistent approach has allowed us to hit our targets for profitable growth year after year. at end-2009, we set ourselves a target of having 16,000 employees by end-2014. We are already there. We are ahead of our road map and confident about the future.
WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK FOR 2013?
We are still achieving a good occupation rate for our consultants. As long as we continue to get this right we will continue to grow organically, as we start 2013 with a bigger operational workforce than in 2012.
WHAT IS YOUR LONG-TERM VISION FOR ALTEN?
ALTEN is already a european leader. now it must become a global leader in its field. our capacity to manage major transnational projects can open the way to achieving critical mass – which we estimate at 1,500 people – in the countries we are interested in, in Western europe, asia and then the americas. By the beginning of 2017 we should have 20,000 employees, be doing more than half our business abroad and have a significant presence outside europe. more generally, i am firmly convinced that engineering is a way for every country to remain internationally competitive and perhaps even save part of its industry. it seems that governments have realised this. this means aLten is now better positioned than ever.