Software firm Exact enjoys record year and aims to double

30 May 2019 3 min. read
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Netherlands-based software player Exact looks back at a record year. The company’s revenues grew by 14% compared to the year previous, while gross operating profit jumped by a staggering 200%.

According to Phill Robinson, chief executive officer of Exact, the results follow from the firm’s sharpened growth strategy, focused on the home markets of the Benelux (the Netherlands and Belgium), plus France and Spain.

Up until February this year, Exact was owned by private equity firm Apax Partners. Under the wings of the British investor the Dutch software player had the target to grow into a top 10 accounting and finance software player globally in the segment for mid-sized businesses. The firm’s main software solutions are Exact Online, Exact Globe en Exact Synergy. Exact also provides software for companies in the professional services industry, including consulting firms, helping them with project management, customer relationship management and finance. This solution is known as ‘Exact for Project Management’.

Software firm Exact enjoys record year and aims to double

Falling short of realising the bold goals set by Apax Partners, the Brits sold recently sold Exact to American private equity giant KKR for an undisclosed fee, in a deal advised on by among others Ernst & Young, Rothschild, Paul, Weiss and Stibbe. According to the Financial Times, insiders close to the matter have suggested KKR paid around €1.5 billion for the Delft-headquartered software company.

Around one and a half year ago, Exact concentrated its strategic focus to four main regions – the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain. With success, because in 2018 the firm’s turnover grew by 14% to €209 million and the gross operating profit – a measure of profitability – with 200% to €57 million. “These results show that our new strategy is bearing fruit. The majority of the revenues come from our home markets, and there is also a growing demand for our international offerings,” said Robinson in a press statement.

The chief executive further singles out the team effort that serve as the fundament for the impressive results. “We of course we owe a lot to the great team of Exact employees and our dedicated partner ecosystem.”

A new bold ambition

Building on the success, Robinson and his management team have in alignment with KKR set the ambition to double the company’s revenues in the coming years. This will be realised by autonomous growth, but also through merger & acquisition activity. In the past twelve months, Exact closed three deals: that of van Parentix, a provider of cloud services; ProQuro, a specialist in procurement workflows; and SRXP, a provider of claims handling solutions. “We remain proactive in the area of mergers and acquisitions,” remarked Robinson.

Globally, more than 18,500 companies work with the mid-market software of Exact. The company was founded in 1984.