February 20, 2018 / 9:52 AM / a year ago

SimCorp shares surge after strong fourth quarter, higher dividend payout

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Shares in Danish software developer SimCorp hit their highest level in six months on Tuesday after the company reported strong growth in the fourth quarter and said it would increase its dividend payout for 2017.

SimCorp topped Europe’s STOXX 600 index, surging 8.5 percent to 399.60 crowns by 0855 GMT.

The company announced fourth-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 45.9 million euros ($57 million), up from 30.3 million a year earlier, accounting for more than half of its EBIT for the whole of 2017.

It was hit earlier in the year because it signed several major deals with asset management firms in 2016, but said the number of new contracts and the average size fell in 2017.

Fourth-quarter revenue stood at 114.2 million euros, and the company said it expects sales to grow in local currencies by between 10 percent and 15 percent this year.

SimCorp also said it would pay 0.84 euro per share in dividend for 2017, up from 0.71 euro the year before.

“2017 was another good year for SimCorp driven mainly by increased sales to existing clients and a significant uptick in professional services,” Chief Executive Klaus Holse said in a statement.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Susan Fenton

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