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October 27, 1999

L&H Pips Q3 Earnings Expectations by a Penny

By CBR Staff Writer

Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV, the Belgian-American speech recognition software and services firm, reported third-quarter net income of $9.8m, yesterday, down 9% on the year-ago period. Revenue for the three months to September 30 was $87.47m – up 59.4% on the corresponding period of 1998. With 60.5 million outstanding shares, the firm posted earnings per share of 16 cents, a penny above consensus earnings estimates from an analyst poll conducted by First Call. During the quarter, L&H acquired voice recognition software vendor, Articulate Systems Inc, which focuses on the healthcare market, and Bumil Information and Communications Ltd, a Korean developer of interactive voice applications for the telecommunications market. Including these operations earnings for the quarter were $18.5m or 31 cents a share. Products from the acquisition will help L&H tap new vertical markets, the firm said. The acquisitions also underpin the firm’s move to diversify into the more lucrative business of providing software with services, rather than just drawing revenue from software sales. Revenue from the firm’s applications increased 97% to $32.11m in the quarter over the period last year, while the firm’s technologies and solutions division which goes onto client sites to deploy L&H systems, brought in $31.03m – up 51.6%. Consulting and services brought in $24.33m in the quarter – up more than 34% on the same period last year.

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