Digital identity division boost Thales Group to best ever year
Thales Group has announced a strong set of financials that have prompted it to revise its predictions and targets upwards. While the figures are for the overall group, covering the multinational’s aerospace, defense and aeronautics business as well as digital identity systems, it is also announcing new partnerships and growth specifically for that division in separate developments.
Thales Group’s order intake rose 18 percent to €19.9 billion (US$22 billion), its sales were up 5.3 percent to €16.2 billion ($17.9 billion), its EBIT rose by 32.1 percent to €1.65 billion and its free operating cash flow was up to €2.52 billion (185 percent of adjusted net income, Group share).
Around €5.5 billion of free operating cash flow is now expected for 2021-2023.
“Thales concluded 2021 with an excellent fourth quarter in terms of order intake and operating free cash flow,” comments Patrice Caine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“Commercially, the Group achieved the best year in its history. These successes with our clients, combined with the remarkable mobilization of our teams, have resulted in cash generation of well over 2 billion euros.”
The company’s Digital Identity & Security division improved its margin by 4 percent than in 2018 before it was integrated following the Gemalto acquisition, Caine said. He credited the division for the Group’s EBIT margin above 10 percent.
The pandemic has meant lower revenues in aeronautics, but overall the CEO remains bullish: “Thales’s business model, driven by the growing need for security and trust in an increasingly interconnected world, has remarkable potential for sustainable and profitable growth, offering solid future prospects for its employees, customers and shareholders.”
Thales Australia and New Zealand to develop Queensland mobile driver license
Thales’s operation for Australia and New Zealand has signed a deal with the Queensland Government to deliver Australia’s first digital license app. It will work with Transport and Main Roads (TMR) as well as local SMEs to create a mobile driver’s license (mDL) on international standards.
A 2020 pilot resulted in a user satisfaction rate of 94 percent. Thales is to add further functionality, increase the pilot area and then roll the app out to all 3.9 million Queenslanders.
Florida mDL to be implemented ‘by end of year’
The biometric app, which can also be used as ID to the extent that it is called Florida Smart ID, was originally intended to become operational in 2021. It is already available to download, but the mDL part is not yet recognized by the state.
Holders can unlock the credential with fingerprint biometrics or facial recognition to generate a barcode for law enforcement to scan. iPhone users will be able to add their Florida mDL to Apple Wallet.
However, to buy alcohol and tobacco with the Florida Smart ID, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau would need to accept it as ID so that stores can. Airports in the state are expected to start accepting the app for travel this year.