Dassault Systemes SA, the French CAD/CAM software design house whose main product is the CATIA line of computer aided design applications for mechanical engineers, is heading for a very successful year. Net profits for the third quarter to September 30 grew 50.3% to the equivalent of $18.3m while revenue grew 43.8% to $80.9m, although the 1996 figures have not been restated to account for recent merger activity. The acquisition of the privately owned SolidWorks Corp, a specialist in 3D design software for Windows based operating systems, was completed on July 25, giving the group a new, low-end focus to its product range which has traditionally centered around more powerful Unix- based hardware. Dassault issued around 4.85 million shares in the $310m deal but still managed to lift earnings per share by 41% over the prior year. Revenue from the new company exceeded expectations, said Dassault president Bernard Charles, with 2,486 new SolidWorks seats shipped into small and medium-sized accounts in the quarter. New CATIA-CADAM workstation seats shipped in the period were 5,502 bringing the cumulative total to over 100,000. CATIA version 4 release 1.9 will be available in November this year the company said. The group also completed a two for one stock split on October 14.
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