By Victor Goury-Laffont
(Reuters) -France’s Atos on Friday reported a wider half-year operating loss due to restructuring costs related to its planned split, sending its shares plunging as much as 20%.
The struggling tech group is in the process of splitting into two separately listed companies, consisting of its cybersecurity and digital transformation unit Eviden and loss-making legacy services branch Tech Foundations.
Atos reported first-half operating loss of 434 million euros ($475.6 million), against a loss of 298 million last year, citing a 430 million euro write-down from the reorganisation.
Shares fell as much as 20%, their biggest one-day decline since June last year. They were down 19% at 0816 GMT.
Tech Foundations has drawn interest from investors, including Czech tycoon Daniel Kretinsky according to media reports. Atos last month said it had rejected several indicative offers for the unit, but did not confirm any names.
The company also said it was expanding its 700 million euro divestment programme of non-core assets by another 400 million.
“We have already received signals of interest for assets we’ve identified in our supplementary divestment plan,” Senior Executive Vice President Diane Galbe said in a call with journalists. She did not specify which assets those were.
Atos expects to achieve its initial divestment target by the end of 2023, when it completes the sale of sustainability consultancy unit Ecoact to Schneider Electric.
The group raised its 2023 organic revenue target, forecasting it to come in line or rise by up to 2% from last year, against the prior range of -1% to +1%.
Its revenue for the six months through June was 5.5 billion euros, up 2.3% organically but slightly below the 5.57 billion expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv Eikon.
($1 = 0.9126 euros)
(Reporting by Victor Goury-Laffont in Gdansk; Editing by Milla Nissi and Conor Humphries)