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Micro Focus's penny-watching protects margins

The group said its adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) margin in the six months to the end of April was around 38% and towards the upper end of expectations.

Micro Focus International plc -

Micro Focus International plc (LON:MCRO), the legacy software behemoth, saw its shares surge on Tuesday morning after a reassuring trading update.

The group said its adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) margin in the six months to the end of April was around 38% and towards the upper end of expectations.

Micro Focus expects to report revenue of around US$1.45bn for the six months to the end of April, which would represent a decline of around 11% from a year earlier on a constant currency basis.

The good news is that this performance is consistent with guidance issued back in February when it announced its full-year results, so things have not got appreciably worse.

As indicated in mid-March, the group saw a slowdown in order intake as the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold; the “identifiable impact” of this slowdown in April on revenues has been estimated to be at least 2% during the period.

Micro Focus said the impact of this revenue reduction on adjusted EBITDA has been largely mitigated by the management of variable and discretionary costs plus a reduction in certain direct costs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The FTSE 250 company has withdrawn full-year revenue guidance, given the current uncertainty caused by the disruption to economic activity caused by the coronavirus pandemic but revealed it is currently evaluating the potential impact on the carrying value of the group's intangible assets and goodwill.

Shares in Micro Focus were up 7.1% at 451.8p.

Quick facts: Micro Focus International plc

Price: 442.5 GBX

LSE:MCRO
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.48 billion
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