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21st year of unbroken growth for Sophos

Sophos : 04 June, 2009  (Company News)
Continued growth for Sophos reflects expanded portfolio and increased demand for IT protection technology
Sophos has announced its consolidated results and company highlights for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009.

'Despite the challenging economic climate during our fiscal year, Sophos generated 27 percent year-over-year growth in billings and revenue,' said Steve Munford, Sophos CEO. "This growth reflects an increased customer demand toward our approach of simplifying how security is managed. The acquisition of Utimaco was also a key milestone for the year and will certainly fuel further momentum in the high-growth data protection market."

Billings for fiscal year 2009 totaled USD 270.9 million, a 27 percent increase from USD 213.9 million in fiscal 2008. Revenue for fiscal year 2009 totaled USD 215.2, also an increase of 27 percent from the prior fiscal year. Unlevered free cash flow for the fiscal year totaled USD 39.8 million.

Celebrating its 21st year of consecutive growth in revenue, Sophos continued to diversify its product portfolio while also expanding its corporate footprint and customer traction in the North American market. Sophos garnered 3,800 new customers in North America and 19,000 new customers worldwide during its fiscal year 2009. In fact, over half of newly-acquired Sophos customers were Symantec and McAfee displacements. According to recent survey findings, nearly one-third of newly acquired customers cite frustration with their previous security vendor's quality of support as a driver for switching to Sophos.

Sophos reached several company milestones in its fiscal year 2009. Some of these highlights include:

- Acquisition of Utimaco - a major inflection point for Sophos was its acquisition of Utimaco, a market-leading data protection company. This acquisition brings together two industry leaders with a wealth of security experience, combining encryption, endpoint protection, and network access control expertise.

- Commitment to mainstream market - in fiscal 2009, Sophos achieved exceptional adoption and renewal rates worldwide. Sophos continued to appeal to mainstream customers who prefer security solutions that simplify and automate security and data protection demands while also offering industry-best customer support.

Throughout the year, Sophos added new features and functionality to its product portfolio. In March 2008, Sophos Endpoint Security and Control 8 incorporated Network Access Control at no additional cost and was the first-to-market offering to integrate anti-virus, anti-spyware, host intrusion prevention, application control, firewall and NAC to block viruses and spyware as well as ensure that computers are running authorised, up-to-date software and adhering to corporate IT policies.

Sophos launched its second major release for its Sophos Web Security and Control line and launched Sophos WebAlert Service, which provides organisations with an automatic warning if webpages are infected by malware. Sophos also introduced two new email appliance models, Sophos Email Security and Control (ES5000 and ES8000), offering clustering functionality and increased throughput.

- Further investment in the channel - Sophos continues to experience tremendous momentum and growth in the channel worldwide. Strategic co-selling initiatives, commitment to margin preservation and deal protection while remaining a company that is easy to do business all contributed to the company's channel programme success in fiscal 2009.

Achieving significant results and positive partner response, Sophos recently launched its first-ever Global Partner Programme, which was based on the highly successful North American Channel Partner Programme launched two years ago.

For fiscal year 2009, revenue growth for North American Sophos channel partners increased 43 percent. According to Sophos partners, revenues based on Sophos sales well exceeded industry averages and Sophos was often their highest-growth security vendor partnership.

- Industry recognition - Sophos continues to receive recognition from leading analyst firms and well-known industry publications. Gartner placed Sophos in its Leaders Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms, 2009 while Utimaco was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Mobile Data Protection, 2008.

In the SC Magazine Awards 2009 Europe, Sophos was named Security Vendor of the Year and also won in the Best Anti-Malware Solution category.

In February 2009, InfoWorld awarded Sophos top honors in its comparative product review of corporate endpoint security solutions. Sophos received the highest ratings amongst Symantec, McAfee, Trend Mirco, and Checkpoint.

In October 2008, SC Magazine US awarded SafeGuard Enterprise five-out-of-five stars within its encryption group test.

- Expanding Sophos leadership - during the fiscal year, Sophos appointed new executive leadership in its Boston, Oxford and Tokyo offices. Michael McGuinness joined Sophos to become senior vice president of worldwide sales and field operations. Rainer Gawlick was appointed chief marketing officer at Sophos, with responsibilities for driving both marketing and product management. Shoichi Hori was appointed president of Sophos Japan.

Most recently, Sophos appointed Jeff Babka as chief financial officer. Previously, Babka served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of NeuStar. During his tenure, Babka led NeuStar's efforts in support of its IPO and listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005, which was recognised as the "IPO of the Year" of 2005 by Renaissance Capital and International Financing Review.

Sophos also continued to strengthen its Board of Directors by appointing Hazem Ben-Gacem as a non-executive director. Hazem has served as a member of the board of directors for several international companies including Acta Technologies, Wireless Telecommunication Group and Utimaco Safeware AG.

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