Editorial

Thales sees promising future for its biometrics and Digital Identity businesses

Rationale for 5 billion euro April buyout of ID and security player Gemalto now becoming clearer

Posted 10 October 2019 by

French industrial giant Thales says it expects its new ‘Digital Identity and Security’ business could grow very strongly in the next four years – with average organic sales growth of 4% to 6% in the 2020 to 2023 timeframe.

The basis for its confidence is the integration of international but originally Dutch-based digital security and smartcard player Gemalto, which it acquired in April, with its other defence and security businesses.

That’s because, the group predicts, is that Digital Identity and biometrics expertise added can now be combined with other workstreams such as Internet of Things (IoT) secure connectivity, data protection and encryption.

As a result, Thales says its EBIT – earnings before interest and taxes – margin for all its Digital IT and Security operations is forecast to reach between 12.5 and 13.5% by 2023.

Specific business opportunities identified include embedded SIM software and services, cloud data protection, public and commercial biometrics, secure IoT connectivity for critical industrial applications, as well as “value maximisation” of the former Gemalto’s “mature” smart card business.

Application opportunities it plans include pooled cybersecurity capabilities, airport solutions design, large cities and critical sites, surveillance and UAV management, as well as IoT implementations for (predominantly French) customers of Thales’s military and rail signal systems.