Unisys last week announced improved earnings and cash flow for the fourth quarter and full year of 2009. "We came into 2009 with a clear plan and goal to turn around the business, achieve profitability and generate free cash flow," Ed Coleman, Unisys Chairman and CEO, said during the fourth quarter and full-year 2009 earnings call. "The economic environment over the past year made it more critical that we move quickly and with urgency to execute on our business priorities, reduce costs and strengthen our balance sheet. As you can see in our results, our people rose to the challenge. Despite lower revenue in 2009, as we narrowed our focus and worked through the downturn, we reported three consecutive quarters of significantly improved profitability and cash flow."
Unisys Corporation reported fourth-quarter 2009 net income of $114.5 million. This compared with a fourth-quarter 2008 net loss of $58.0 million, which included a $99.0 million pretax cost-reduction charge. Revenue in the quarter declined 5 percent to $1.21 billion compared with revenue of $1.28 billion in the year-ago quarter, and foreign exchange rates had an approximately 5 percentage-point positive impact on revenue in the quarter.
For the full year of 2009, Unisys reported net income of $189.3 million. This compared with a full-year 2008 net loss of $130.1 million, which included $103.1 million of pretax cost-reduction charges. Revenue in 2009 declined 12 percent to $4.60 billion compared with revenue of $5.23 billion in 2008. Foreign currency fluctuations had an approximately 4 percentage-point negative impact on revenue for the full year.
Commenting on some particular highlights, Coleman said, Unisys services business doubled its operating profit margin in the fourth quarter despite lower revenue. Unisys' technology business grew revenue 19% in the fourth quarter, driven by strong sales and ClearPath systems, he noted. "We are focused on delivering continued product innovation and value to our ClearPath client base and it is good to see this result in the quarter."
In 2009, Coleman said, ClearPath revenue was basically flat and remained a major contributor to the company's profitability for the year.
"At the top line, while we would like to see our revenue growing. Our primary focus over the past 12 to 15 months has been on enhancing our profitability and cash flow and making sure we're targeting the right opportunities in the right markets and not just chasing growth for growth's sake," Coleman said.
"We're pleased with our results for the fourth quarter and for 2009 overall, but we recognize that it is only a start. We have a lot more work to do, both at the bottom line and the top line, and we'll need to do that work in what continues to be a challenging and extremely competitive business environment," Coleman said. He explained that in 2010, Unisys will continue to focus on executing on its stated business priorities. Unisys has four priorities in its turnaround program: to concentrate resources on fewer markets and offerings, create clear differentiated value propositions in its chosen markets, drive gross margin improvement through a highly utilized cost competitive services labor pool, and simplify the organization to significantly reduce expenses.
For more details on Unisys' fourth quarter and full-year 2009 results, go to the Unisys website.