Sword CTSpace in recovery mode?

After looking at BuildOnline (UK) Ltd’s 2007 performance recently (see BuildOnline’s UK downward drift), I have been researching the recent performance of the whole Sword CTSpace group (in effect, the combined BuildOnline/Citadon operation acquired by Sword group in December 2007).

Poring through the 2008 Annual and Financial Report (pdf) of the Sword Group, I found various details of the acquisition of CTSpace. It also gives details of the contribution of the CTSpace operation to the group’s performance. For example:

  • CTSpace was acquired at a cost of $11.77m [about £5.8m or €8m], with acquisition costs of $1.33m [about £0.66m or €0.9m] (p.107) – ie: pretty much the figure of $13m or £6.5m I suggested last March (post).
  • There are also some pretty substantial figures (p.109) for liabilities ($20.55m) and Goodwill ($26.5m)
  • CTSpace was said to generate sales of approximately €11m per annum (p.109)
  • Total international sales revenue for CTSpace in 2007 was given as $15.971m [£10.9m at average 2007 exchange rates, or €11.67m] with a net loss of $6.277m [£4.29m or €4.59m] (p.111)- this mainly covers the period before CTSpace was acquired, of course.
  • Sales and earnings for the various CTSpace companies during the following year (to 31 December 2008) are given as follows (p.172; sterling figures shown are at average 2008 exchange rates):
Company Sales
£000 Earnings €000 £000
Buildonline UK 2,807 2,231 -36 -29
Buildonline Germany 3,085 2,452 925 735
Buildonline France 2,263 1,799 864 687
Buildonline India 3 2 -42 -33
Buildonline USA 373 296 66 52
Buildonline Ireland 12 10 10 8
Buildonline Global Ltd (UK) 0 0 81 64
Infotechno (Austria) 1,493 1,187 168 134
CTSpace (USA) 4,382 3,483 560 445
CTSpace Group Inc (USA) 0 0 0 0
Total €14,418 £11,459 €2,596 £2,063

These figures suggest that the first full year of Sword CTSpace’s operation saw something of a turnaround for the merged group. There was an increase in revenue over 2007’s figure, and the negative earnings were turned into a much more positive result. In the light of these figures (and those of Aconex’s UK operation – see post), I have updated my UK turnover graph:

Direct comparisons for 2009 will be more difficult, of course, as Sword CTSpace now includes offerings previously delivered by 2008 Sword acquisition ViaNovus (see post) and Sword subsidiary Cimage, which was merged with the CTSpace grouping earlier this year.

Depending on how the group accounts for its users, it will also be difficult to assess the value of the statistics given on the website homepage regarding the number of users, etc. We are told “145,000 users on 13,000 projects in 56 countries” – but these are likely to include more than one solution (BuildOnline, Citadon CW, ProjectNet, and possibly Fusion, Paragon, CadTop….). And given the propensity of many vendor companies simply to include all users dating back to day one, I am very sceptical of the value of such figures anyway (a subject that I have posted on several times: here, for example).

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2009/09/sword-ctspace-in-recovery-mode/

1 comment

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    • Richard on 8 September 2009 at 8:02 am

    Do you have a chart showing corresponding profits over this period? That would be interesting for your viewers to see?

  1. […] recent results (see Good numbers from 4Projects) and the apparent turnaround in Sword CTSpace (see post) appeared to buck the trend, but I wonder if they were boosted by a good first half of the year […]

  2. […] In terms of its turnover, conject is larger than all but one of the UK-based construction collaboration vendors. The much merged business that is today Sword CTSpace (while the parent Sword group is a France-listed company, shortly to relocate to Luxembourg, the CTSpace business is headquartered in west London) had a 2008 turnover of €14.4m [£11.5m], of which around €4.4m came from the former Citadon operations in the USA, and roughly the same amount from Germany and Austria (see post). […]

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