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Dassault Systemes' investment in "talent war" to dent operating margin

By Reuters

-French software publisher Dassault Systemes on Thursday forecast lower operating margin for 2022 as it anticipates having to pay out higher salaries due to a global “talent war”.

The 3D design software producer expects an operating margin for the full year in the range of 32.7% to 33.1%, after reaching a margin of 34.5% in 2021.

After a rebound last year, the group, which works extensively in the automotive, aerospace and industrial sectors, now plans on “rebalancing the higher margin from 2021 in 2022”, newly appointed Chief Financial Officer Rouven Bergmann told reporters in a call.

“There is a talent war, so we are going to have some inflation on the salaries, and we need to continue to hire significantly in some regions,” Chief Operating Officer Pascal Daloz added.

For 2021 Dassault Systemes’ posted strong growth, helped by the global shift to online business, with non-IFRS revenue up 9% to 4.86 billion euros ($5.49 billion), above Refinitiv estimates of 4.84 billion euros.

It expects this momentum to continue in 2022, with 9-10% revenue growth.

The group on Thursday officially announced Bergmann’s appointment as CFO, a role it said he began at the beginning of the year. Daloz, who was previously acting as both CFO and COO, will focus on being COO, it added.

($1 = 0.8850 euros)