Amid transaction talks, Bentley Systems releases first quarter results

US-based construction and infrastructure engineering software firm Bentley Systems announced increased revenues in the first quarter. Just last month, French multinational company Schneider Electric confirmed early-stage talks with Bentley Systems regarding a ‘strategic transaction’.

Nicholas Cumins Current Bentley Systems chief operating officer Nicholas Cumins. Cumins will succeed Greg Bentley as company CEO in July 2024. (Image: Bentley Systems)

Bentley Systems reported total revenues of US$337.8 million, which is up 7.2% on a year-over-year constant currency basis. It also recorded annualised recurring revenues (ARR) of approximately $1.2 billion.

Subscription revenues were up 10.3% to $307.1 million, with operating income margin up 6.3% to 27.2%.

Outgoing CEO Greg Bentley said, “We are pleased with our [first quarter] performance, as year-over-year ARR growth of 11% (excluding China; 11.5%) is consistent with our recent financial outlook range for 2024.

“Profitability and operating cash flow started the year ahead of our expected pace, with subscription revenues (91% of total) fully on pace,” he added, addressing one downside of the quarter. “Our digital integrator Cohesive’s professional services business, unrelated to Bentley Systems software, has declined significantly from 2023.”

Greg Bentley’s last first quarter as CEO

On 21 March, Bentley – whose brothers, Keith and Barry Bentley, founded the company in 1984 – announced his retirement as CEO. He will transition to the executive chair role while present chief operating officer, Nicholas Cumins, will succeed Bentley on 1 July of this year.

Bentley added, “Through this generational transition we can perpetuate our characteristic steadiness, while cognizant that unprecedented opportunities presented by infrastructure digital twins could springboard, for Bentley Systems, transformative growth.”

In the first quarter report, Cumins said, “Bentley [Systems] is well positioned to address the infrastructure sectors’ biggest challenges, including the widening gap in engineering resource capacity.”

Schneider Electric confirms ‘transaction’ talks with Bentley

On 19 April, Bentley Systems sent a release acknowledging public statements made by Schneider Electric regarding strategic transaction speculation.

“Bentley does not publicly comment on market rumours or speculation and does not intend to comment on this matter,” said Bentley Systems.

Schneider Electric, earlier that day, had released information confirming it had been “holding discussions with Bentley Systems” regarding a potential transaction between the two companies.

The France-based firm said talks were preliminary and without certainty of action.

“No further comment will be made until an update is warranted,” said Schneider Electric.

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