A page turns at the head of Dault Systèmes. But gently. After several years of preparation, Bernard Charlès, 66, is preparing to hand over the reins of the group to his heir apparent, Pascal Daloz, 52. On the occasion of a day dedicated to investors this Friday, the group officially announced its appointment as CEO from January 1, 2024.
Among the deans of CAC 40 leaders, Bernard Charlès had been at the head of the French software champion since 1995. of a million in capital. I intend to reproduce this duet with Pascal”, confided to us the manager at the beginning of the year.
Founded in 1981, Dault Systèmes was originally a spin-off from Dault Aviation, which set out to replace costly physical models with digital models. The young start-up can then count on a very good customer in the person of its aircraft manufacturer owner, who began to design the plans for his aircraft on a computer. A little over forty years later, the company, whose 3D design software is essential in aeronautics and automotive, generates 5 billion annual turnover and weighs 55 billion euros of capitalization.
Co-founder of the group, Charles Edelstenne, 85, had already resolved at the beginning of the year to hand over to the head of the board of directors, because he had reached the age limit for this function. The businessman, who remains a director and has become honorary president, gave up his chair to his right arm, Bernard Charlès. So “no surprise” in governance, specifies the person concerned: “I had already been vice-chairman of the board since 2016. And Pascal Daloz had been appointed deputy managing director at the start of the year. I was just waiting for him to tell me he was ready for the position of general manager,” he says.
Crowned with this new official function during the “Capital Market Day” this Friday, Pascal Daloz announced “ambitious” objectives for the next five years, including “double-digit growth in turnover” and a doubling of its profit. earnings per share (EPS) non-IFRS within a range of between 2.20 and 2.40 euros.
Like many software vendors, the group is moving from a license-centric model, where customers pay for software upfront, to a “cloud-based” subscription model, where payments are made regular intervals. Proponents of this model claim that it allows businesses to have a recurring stream of revenue, making it easier to plan and manage costs.
The company also strongly believes in the potential of its “digital twins” applied to the field of health, that is to say, to replicate organs – even an entire human body – in the virtual world, in particular to simulate the effects of treatments and medical procedures. “Dault Systèmes should increase its “addressable” markets [qu’elle peut cibler, NDLR] from 100 billion euros today to 1,000 billion euros in 2040,” said Pascal Daloz.
These optimistic projections do not seem to have convinced the Stock Exchange, the title lost more than 2% during the day. “It’s a software company that’s been around for decades. Its software shows steady but moderate growth. It’s not dreaming. While there are real competitors in all segments, such as PTC or Autodesk in the United States,” notes an analyst who does not wish to be quoted. For the current year, Dault Systèmes expects sales of 5.9 billion euros, up around 8% to 9% compared to 2022.