FAST Achieved Record Revenues in Q1 of $21.3 million, Yielding Growth of 70%;At $5.3 Million in Q1, FAST’s EBITDA More Than Doubled, Reaching 25% of Revenues
OSLO, Norway – 10 May 2005 – Fast Search & Transfer™ (FAST™), the leading developer of enterprise search and real-time alerting technologies, today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2005.
First Quarter 2005 Highlights
• -- Q1 2005 revenues of $21.3 million - grew 4% over Q4 2004, a seasonally high quarter, and 70% year on year
• -- Growth driven by widening adoption of the FAST Enterprise Search Platform (FAST ESP™), Search Derivative Applications (SDAs), and OEM enterprise search solutions
• -- Q1 operating income of $3.6 million and EBIT of $3.7 million – both reached 17% of revenues
• -- EBITDA of $5.3 million in Q1 – more than doubled year on year and reached 25% of revenues
• -- Q1 operating cash flow of $6.9 million – quarter end cash balances up $3.4 million to $80.3 million
• -- Cash received from customers surged to $24.9 million in Q1 - more than doubled year on year
• -- Launched FAST Search Best Practices™ (FAST SBP™), a new industry leading consulting service that helps organizations optimize the functionality of Enterprise Search Solutions to maximize the value of their IT investments, speed time to market and increase business impact
• -- Launched two new SDAs in the first quarter: • FAST ProPublish™, the industry’s first complete enterprise search-based publication production management and delivery solution; and • FAST mSearch™, the industry’s first mobile search solution to collectively integrate content such as music, games, ring tones, and images with highly relevant content from the mobile Web, providing users with an optimized and more personal search experience on their mobile devices.
• -- Hosted FAST’s second annual FAST Analyst Days event which provides industry analysts with FAST’s 2005 market vision and technology roadmap.
• Client News: Key wins in eCommerce, Government, Financial Services and Publishing markets
• New enterprise search clients include: Deutsche Telekom AG, Frontrange, H3G Italy, HBZ, Intology (Australia) Pty Ltd., Matrix, Optus, Ovid, Risk Management Associates, Schibsted, Schultz Information A/S, Sisis, and T-Online International AG.
• New reseller, OEM and alliance partners include: Aptas Dex, Chordiant, Siebel Systems, and Stellent.
Commenting on the results, Dr. John M. Lervik, chief executive officer of FAST stated, “In Q1 2005, FAST once again delivered a strong revenue performance with record enterprise search revenues of $21.3 million; this represents growth of 4% over last quarter, despite Q1 traditionally being weaker than Q4 due to seasonality, and 70% over the same quarter last year. We are encouraged that FAST continues to set the pace in terms of both growth and product innovation within the Enterprise Search industry. With the launch of two new SDAs, the introduction of a Search Best Practices group, and a wealth of new and innovative customer installations, FAST continues to extend the definition of Enterprise Search. Furthermore, significant activities within our Alliance and OEM programs have supported the growth of our business. Our Alliance and OEM partnerships have led to dramatic growth in terms of our global presence, revenue and leadership in the search market as demonstrated by our exceptional performance during the first quarter of 2005.”
Ali I. Riaz, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at FAST, remarked, “Our financial performance continued to strengthen in Q1 indicated by the growth in new and recurring business, which resulted in top line growth of 70% year over year, EBITDA more than doubling, and the EBITDA to revenue margin pushing upward to 25%. In summary, FAST reached significant financial milestones in Q1 2005 and continued to demonstrate its leadership in the market with the fastest growing revenues and leading profitability in our space. Strategically our platform (ESP) and applications (SDAs) strategy is yielding strong results. The fact that SDAs are built on the ESP capabilities gives FAST development and support synergies. More importantly, it gives our customers deployment and administrative synergies. Tactically, FAST’s products and services are resonating well with growth & market leaders, strategic System Integrators and leading software vendors as our offerings are holistically designed to deliver not only technology, but subject matter expertise and long-term partnership. Ultimately, our 100% customer retention rate, 98% customer satisfaction rate, highest average deal size in the industry, and very capable employee pool are operational performance indicators behind the financial performance.”
“FAST is working with its customers and partners to expand the role and business impact of Enterprise Search and to provide them with specialized search applications that meet their specific needs,” commented Lervik. In the past quarter, the Company unveiled its FAST Search Best Practices™ consulting services (FAST SBP™). Designed to help clients maximize the investment they have made, or plan to make, in search technology, FAST SBP provides organizations with the framework to fully understand the potential of their search initiatives, the tools required to optimize their search related results, and the mechanisms to deploy, manage, and continuously improve their enterprise search implementation.
In Q1, many global organizations including Deutsche Telekom AG, Frontrange, H3G Italy, HBZ, Intology (Australia) Pty Ltd., Matrix, Risk Management Associates, Optus, Ovid, Schultz Information A/S, Schibsted, Siebel Systems, Sisis, and T-Online International AG signed on or expanded their agreements with FAST as enterprise customers to use FAST’s search technology and expand their utilization by deploying additional applications. These deals further demonstrate FAST’s ability to retain and enhance existing client relationships against stiff competition.