Paul Demery , Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce
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.
FAST continues to aggressively build upon the solid relationships that it previously developed with OEM partners such as Chordiant, EMC, and Stellent. In Q1, EMC launched EMC Centera Seek, a solution based on FAST InStream. Also, FAST signed an OEM licensing agreement with Siebel Systems, involving the integration of FAST InStream™ within the core Siebel business applications platform, thus making FAST`s powerful enterprise search capabilities available across Siebel Systems` family of business applications and hosted solutions. The integration of FAST InStream with Siebel business applications will enable a host of innovative new functionality for Siebel customers and will break new ground for CRM, furthering its relationships with the market leaders in Enterprise Content Management, Storage & Archive Solutions, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). These deals demonstrate the success of FAST’s application enablement strategy and execution, and furthermore exhibit that FAST’s OEM solutions can be utilized across a range of content and business applications.
FAST continues to enjoy increased market visibility and recognition for its corporate growth and superior enterprise search offerings. In Q1, the Company received a number of prominent awards from leading search and IT industry media for the Company’s innovation and technology advancements, as well as its corporate growth.
In January 2005, FAST held its second annual FAST Analyst Days event in San Juan, Puerto Rico, bringing together over 20 industry analysts covering the enterprise search market, as well as markets including Business Intelligence, Knowledge Management, Enterprise Content Management, Enterprise Resource Management (ERP), Storage, and Mobile Telecom. This highly successful event further strengthened and expanded FAST’s visibility with a growing number of analysts worldwide, as FAST demonstrated its technological strengths, market vision and industry leadership in a variety of sectors, expanding the notion of the size and potential of the enterprise search market.
In addition, a growing number of industry analyst groups, including Gartner, IDC, Jupiter Research, The Patricia Seybold Group, Ballardvale Research, The Delphi Group, AMR Research, The Kelsey Group and The451.com continue to support and applaud the strategic directions and innovative solutions that FAST continues to unveil to the market.
FAST continues to set the pace in the enterprise search space, both from a technology and market perspective. In Q1 2005, FAST unveiled FAST ProPublish™ and FAST mSearch™, two new Search Derivative Applications (SDAs) that leverage the power of FAST ESP to deliver enterprise search solutions for the publishing and mobile markets respectively.
FAST ProPublish, the industry’s first complete enterprise search-based publication production management and delivery solution, gives professional and business publishers a powerful solution for gathering and processing data, resulting in the improved delivery of job-critical information to both online and off-line users. It is also the only solution that combines high-performance and scalability with the intelligence, accuracy and extensibility needed to power the complex search and navigation requirements of publishing and business professionals.
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, provides users with an optimized and more personal search experience on their mobile devices.
FAST’s solutions have become a key enabler of exponential innovation for our clients and partners in key areas such as Business Intelligence (BI), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Knowledge Management, and Storage. FAST is rapidly becoming an essential component of content and data infrastructure within corporate IT systems and its solutions are the basis for knowledge management and transfer, content and data integration, and information intelligence around the world.
The high profile product launches of FAST ProPublish and FAST mSearch demonstrate our innovative and scalable technology, market leadership, and the Company’s increased focus upon delivering solutions-focused product offerings. FAST is committed to delivering a range of Enterprise Search-based solutions to the global business market and accelerating the adoption of search technology by providing customers a means of enabling product and service innovation by harnessing the power of search.
Q2 2005 Business Focus
“While the global economy is still challenging, the demand for Enterprise Search solutions is quite strong, and we are encouraged that FAST continues to deliver the strongest financial results in the market,” added Lervik. “Our performance validates our approach to delivering exceptionally strong technology with high customer satisfaction, developing increased market recognition, and continuing to strengthen our top-tier customer and partner base throughout 2005.”
FAST creates the real-time search and filter technology solutions that are behind the scenes at the world’s best known companies with the most demanding search problems. FAST’s flexible and scalable integrated technology platform elevates the search capabilities of enterprise customers and connects people to the relevant information they seek regardless of medium. This drives revenues and reduces total cost of ownership by effectively leveraging IT infrastructure. FAST’s powerful enterprise search technology solutions are used by more than 1,500 global customers and partners, including America Online (AOL), AT&T;, Cardinal Health, CareerBuilder.com, Chordiant, CIGNA, CNET, Dell, Factiva, Fidelity Investments, Findexa, FirstGov.gov (GSA), IBM, Knight Ridder, LexisNexis, Overture, Rakuten, Reed Elsevier, Reuters, Sensis, Stellent, Tenet Healthcare, Thomas Industrial Networks, T-Online, US Army, Virgilio (Telecom Italia), Vodafone, and Wanadoo.
FAST is headquartered in Norway and is publicly traded under the ticker symbol `FAST` on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The FAST Group operates globally with presence in Europe, the United States, Asia Pacific, Australia, South America, and the Middle East. For further information about FAST, please visit www.fastsearch.com.
© 2005 Fast Search & Transfer ASA - Fast Search & Transfer, FAST, FAST ESP, FAST Data Search, FAST Marketrac, FAST AdVisor, FAST InStream, FAST ImPulse, FAST Search Best Practices, FAST SBP, FAST ProPublish, FAST mSearch and the FAST four-colored logo are trademarks of Fast Search & Transfer ASA. All rights reserved. FAST disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.