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2009 separated the companies with solid business models from those whistling in the wind. SDL (news, site) showed it is on the right track with impressive results.

Smart Buys Make For Smart Money

In what are universally acknowledged as the toughest markets for decades, British-based content management, language and ecommerce company SDL has produced a highly positive performance. With income up 8% to £172 million (US$ 258m), profit up 22% to £24 (US$ 36m) million and a near doubling of free cash, it looks set for a healthy 2010.

2009 saw the company purchase XyEnterprise (component content management), after acquiring Trisoft (InfoShare CMS) in 2008 and picking up FredHopper (online retail) at the start of this year. These coherent acquisitions have allowed SDL to fill out and expand its offerings into a fully fledged global information management solution that is attracting lots of client wins and partnerships.

Behind the Numbers

Much of the success is due to the company cross-selling other products in its range to existing clients and partnering with other solutions providers to offer them to a wider range of customers. The outlook for 2010 includes a dividend for shareholders and with its useful cash pile, further acquisitions cannot be ruled out.

The company recently dropped its expanding number of brand names to unify the brand under SDL, with a number of different divisions. But, SDL still keeps pumping out products and adjusts its delivery strategy to widen its client base, which already claims the likes of HP, Microsoft and SAP among its number.

Chief Executive Mark Lancaster pointed out increased globalization as a key point for SDL's growth saying,

We exit 2009 pleased that we have delivered in a difficult global economy and convinced that we have a suite of technologies and services that really is world class. Penetration of the web and globalisation of trade will continue to drive the needs of major corporations to engage with their customers effectively in multiple languages."

To echo that sentiment, SDL has just announced a low-cost subscription for a Starter version of its SDL Trados translation tool and the launch of SDL OpenExchange, a beta developer tool that allows companies to integrate and expand use of Trados.