London - British software firm Aveva Group reported a rise in full-year profit due to higher demand for its ship-design software in the Asia-Pacific region, sending its shares up 14 percent to a six-month high. Shares in Aveva, whose software is used to design ships, power plants, and oil and gas facilities, were among the biggest percentage gainers on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday. “It has been a strong year for us in Asia Pacific, primarily driven by Korean customers, most of whom are ship builders,” Chief Executive Richard Longdon told Reuters. Aveva, earlier called CADcentre, is one of the pioneers of computer-aided design techniques in the UK. The company said it saw modest growth in Europe and the Americas in the year ended March 31. Aveva is also looking to make an acquisition in North America, Longdon said. The company’s full-year adjusted pretax profit rose 11 percent to 78.3 million pounds ($132 million). Revenue rose 8 percent to 237.3 million pounds. Analysts on average had expected revenue of 238.69 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters.
The Cambridge-based company’s engineering and design systems unit, which creates digital models for power plants and ships, reported a 14 percent organic growth on a constant-currency basis, driven by an increase in product offerings. Adjusted profit margin rose to 33 percent from 32.1 percent. Numis Securities analyst David Toms said Aveva was maintaining its growth rate in a market seen as challenging. “We think the most notable element of these results is that Aveva is outperforming its largest competitor (which we think grew 6-7 percent in the six months to March 14 vs Aveva’s 11 percent),” Toms said in a note, without identifying the competitor. The company’s competitors include Autodesk Inc, SAP AG and Intergraph Corp. Toms said Aveva would benefit from its presence in different geographies and its strong customer relationships. Aveva also said it signed a five-year software supply agreement with engineering and project consultancy firm AMEC.
Analysts believe AMEC is one of Aveva’s largest customers. Aveva said it would pay a final dividend of 22 pence per share compared with 19.5 pence a year earlier. The company’s shares were up 10 percent at 2375 pence at 1053 GMT. The stock earlier touched 2460 pence, its highest level since November.