UPDATE 2-CGI Group quarterly earnings rise, bookings leap

* Earnings in line with market expectations

* EPS C$0.37 vs C$0.26 year earlier

* CGI sees 2010 revenue returning to “traditional” levels

(Recasts with CEO comments from conference call, more

VANCOUVER , Jan 27 (BestGrowthStock) – CGI Group Inc (GIBa.TO: ),
Canada’s biggest computer consulting company, reported a jump
in quarterly profit and bookings on Wednesday, and said 2010
revenue growth would recover from a recent slowdown.

Shares of CGI rose 1 percent after the news, even as the
company reported revenue in the latest quarter that fell short
of expectations on unfavorable foreign exchange movements.

Profit increased 39 percent to C$111.2 million ($105.5
million), or 37 Canadian cents a share, in the fiscal first
quarter ended Dec. 31. That compares with C$80.1 million, or 26
Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Excluding a 10 Canadian cent a share tax benefit, earnings
per share were 27 Canadian cents a share, in line with
analysts’ forecasts.

Revenue fell to C$913 million from C$1 billion, below
analysts’ average expectations of C$958.6 million.

In the first quarter, new contract signings ballooned to
C$1.6 billion, as expected by the market, from 775 million in
the same period last year as the technology outsourcing market
showed signs of a revival.

“Some of our large clients who hit the brakes last year at
this time have replenished their budgets and are starting to
put those projects in the window,” CGI Chief Executive Michael
Roach said on a conference call.

“And over the next number of quarters we expect to see that
trend transition into top-line growth,” Roach said, referring
to revenue growth.

Bookings in Canada were particularly strong in the first
quarter, when the bulk of business came from the financial
services, government and healthcare sectors, he said.

The Montreal-based company expects a “gradual return to
more traditional levels of top-line growth” for the rest of
this year.

CGI said it is renewing its share buyback program,
targeting 10 percent of its stock over the next 12 months.

CGI’s stock was up 15 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, at
C$14.84 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

($1=$1.06 Canadian)

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(Reporting by Nicole Mordant and Scott Anderson; Editing by
Frank McGurty)

UPDATE 2-CGI Group quarterly earnings rise, bookings leap