Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Autodesk CEO Carl Bass on Autodesk Financials
February 26th, 2013 by Susan Smith
In a webcast this week, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass addressed the company’s financials. “As we near the 2-year anniversary of the launch of our design and creation suites, we couldn’t be more pleased with their progress and growth. Revenue from Suites increased 50% over that 2-year period. Suites now represent 30% of total revenue, up from 23% just 2 years ago. We’re delivering exceptional value to our customers, who get to utilize and experience more of our broad product portfolio. What’s more, we have seen a meaningful increase in our ASPs. It’s a win-win. Growth in our Suites help drive the record revenue results in both our AEC and Manufacturing business segments.”
Bass went on to say that the investments made over the past couple of years in major account direct sales continue to pay off. In the fourth quarter, Autodesk had a record 45 transactions that exceeded $1 million in value. This is up 25% year-on-year. The total value for these large deals increased 36% year-on-year. For FY ’13, large deals increased by 18%.
Autodesk’s AEC business had record quarterly results. Strong growth in AEC Suites to the growing implementation of BIM across all disciplines of the AEC industry, including infrastructure. BIM 360 wins in Q4 were concentrated in construction, reflecting Autodesk’s leadership role in providing cloud and mobile technologies to that industry.
From a geographic perspective, Q4 revenue was driven by strong results in Asia-Pacific. Strong growth in Japan and China led APAC’s results. EMEA had modest growth as reported, but was better on a constant currency basis. Results in EMEA were led by strong large deal activity in Northern Europe.
The Americas performance was uneven by country. Canada was strong, while the U.S. and Latin America declined. Large deal activity in the Americas at the end of the quarter was strong.
Growth in China was strong. Outside of China, results in the emerging economies were disappointing. Emerging markets are typically choppier than mature markets. Some of this is currency-related, but there are also leadership changes in India and Brazil. “We continue to believe revenue from emerging economies will be a growth driver for the company over time,” said Bass.
Bass reviewed the company’s successful products which readers have probably heard about before. “Usage and adoption of our cloud and mobile platform, Autodesk 360, continues to grow. Autodesk continues to lead the industry in cloud and mobile applications for design and engineering with the introduction of new offerings,” said Bass. “On the Manufacturing side, in just a few quarters, Autodesk PLM 360 has expanded to over 10,000 users. It’s been an exciting and fast-moving first year for us in this space. Customers are giving us great feedback that this solution is dramatically easier to deploy and configure at a cost that is a fraction of legacy systems.”
Fusion 360 was introduced during the fourth quarter as the world’s first cloud-based 3D mechanical modeling and industrial design product. Fusion 360 allows design and engineering professionals to more easily create 3D product designs and collaborate with others in their supply chains, all while working online.
Simulation 360 is a powerful cloud-based simulation solution that was introduced last fall. Customers have used Simulation 360 to run more than 30,000 simulation jobs and are responding positively to the productivity gains, cost savings and the new business model.
There was a significant jump in the number of cloud rendering jobs completed by Autodesk customers using Autodesk 360 across different industries. More than 1 million jobs were completed in the last quarter alone, bringing their total rendering jobs to more than 2 million.
AutoCAD WS, one of Autodesk’s first and most popular cloud and mobile applications, has surpassed 11 million downloads. More than 2 million unique users now access WS each month.
“These offerings are a significantly different model, and we expect adoption and consumption of our cloud and rental offerings to increase gradually over time,” said Bass. “As such, we are not anticipating any significant changes to our core business model in FY ’14.”
“We’ve also successfully brought mobility to personal design on the consumer side of our business. Autodesk 123 Design becomes the first mobile 3D modeling application enabling users to create sophisticated, precise 3D models on their tablet, Mac, PC or via their web browser.”
Autodesk debuted an Instructables mobile application, that provides users access to over 100,000 tutorials on do-it-yourself projects in technology, workshop, living and more. Autodesk recently surpassed the 50 million downloads mark for mobile apps on Apple’s App Store. Consumer business revenue is small compared to the rest of Autodesk’s business, however, it is growing rapidly.
“Over the past few years, the vast majority of our cash balance was located offshore. In December, we addressed that structural issue by raising $750 million in our debt offering,” said Bass. “We took advantage of historically low interest rates and our investment grade credit rating, securing cost-effective new capital that gives us significant financial flexibility. Uses of this capital could include M&A, continued share repurchases and general corporate purposes.”
“Looking forward, the unevenness of the global environment keeps us somewhat cautious on near-term growth. For FY ’14, we believe we can achieve revenue growth of approximately 6%. We continue to balance our ongoing spend management measures with making key investments in our strategic initiatives and expect to increase non-GAAP operating margin by 125 to 150 basis points.
As we look at the year, we expect a greater portion of the growth coming in the second half of the year. In the longer view, we remain confident in our ability to drive growth and deliver meaningful operating margin expansion.”