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March 4, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Paris-based software developer CGI Informatique SA, which was bought by IBM France SA last autumn, reports that its results for last year deteriorated, but that this year so far looks good and that it is planning a client-server revolution in its product line. After 10 years of brilliant growth, up until 1992, 1993 saw a 4% decline in our revenues and net profit was down 32%. For the first time we also saw a decline in France, said president Bernard Chapot. In CGI’s last complete fiscal year as an independent company, revenues reached approximately $333m, down from $348m last year. Its net profit came to about $17.2m, down from $25m a year earlier. CGI, which is changing its fiscal year-end to December 31 from August 31 to corres pond with IBM’s calendar year, says it will issue an interim report on the period from September 1 to December 31 in the next few weeks. Most of 1993 was a period of insertion into the IBM group, Chapot said, noting that CGI regrouped CGI Services into IBM France’s facilities management company, Axone. Beyond that, he says, CGI has no further intentions in the facilities management market; it needs too much investment. During the period of combination with IBM, CGI’s management function was preserved, he continued. We have the same managers and we’ve set up methods of working with IBM, in Europe and North America, notably, he said.

client-server revolution

We’ve conserved our multi-environment strategy with no problems from IBM. Certainly at a time with IBM is putting CICS on Hewlett-Packard Co systems, it’s completely natural that we would provide software for Hewlett and others as well, he said. Speaking of hardware systems, Chapot said in 1994 CGI is counting on effecting a small revolution in adapting all of our software to a client-server architecture. It has already been done for Sigagip Personnel, which is operational in a DB2 version at French pharmaceutical firm Roussel Uclaf SA. A Unix and Oracle version is expected in April. Client-server versions of Sigagip Finance and manufacturing management systems Tzar II and Prodstar are scheduled to be available in the fourth quarter. He said the first components for Pacbase C/S, which the company has been working for the last few years, will emerge in the autumn. PAC/CS, aimed at producing graphical applications and using object-oriented technologies, will be available under OS/2 with Presentation Manager and Windows in the third quarter and under OSF/Motif in early 1995. In the fourth quarter, PacDesign will integrate support for client-server systems design, while PacBench/CSs, which is in beta test, will be generally available. For the future, CGI will focus on three main technology areas: applications software in promising areas – personnel, finance, manufacturing and production, insurance, inventory management; the design and development of customised applications; and software engineering. Overall, says Chapot, the first few months of 1994 aren’t bad, but it’s a little too early to judge, adding that CGI’s activities in the US are going quite well and that he expects the Free Trade Agreement to create new opportunities. CGI is studying a few dossiers for external growth abroad, possibly in the US, Chapot said. Any acquisitions will be financed by us; I don’t think IBM will give us still more money to buy companies! he quipped.

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