Atos confirms multi-million losses, but assures Paris Games unaffected

French technology company Atos has confirmed significant annual losses, but assures Paris 2024 that it will not be affected.

French information technology group Atos is struggling with significant debt, according to a statement released by the company. It announced a significant annual loss on Tuesday, but promised that its problems would not disrupt the Games, which start on 26 July. As the cyber security and data provider for the Paris Olympics, the company is responsible for the near-instantaneous delivery of Olympic and Paralympic Games results to broadcasters and the media during the summer events - a crucial function these days.

Atos has been a technology partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, USA. The company is also responsible for managing more than 300,000 accreditations.

It also coordinates with other technology partners such as telecommunications company Orange, digital services company Intel, telecommunications equipment provider Cisco, timekeeper Omega and audio-video company Panasonic. The company reported a net loss of 3.4 billion euros in 2023 due to asset write-downs, while also announcing plans to explore debt restructuring by July.

Atos, which was founded in 1997 and has subsidiaries in various locations around the world, including the US and Germany, has €3.65 billion of loans and bonds that need to be repaid or refinanced by the end of 2025.

Saleh said in Tuesday's results statement that Atos was "in discussions with our financial creditors with a view to reaching a refinancing plan by July through a friendly conciliation process". "Our operating margin improved year-on-year, reflecting the execution of our cost improvement plans, while our cash flow was impacted by headcount optimisation, separation costs and working capital reduction measures," he said.

"We have just completed an operational test phase which has been exceptionally well received by all," said the director of the Bezons, France-based company.

Concerns about the company's future escalated last week when negotiations to sell its big data and security business to Airbus, the European aerospace giant, for between €1.5 billion and €1.8 billion fell through. "There are no concerns about the Olympics," Atos CEO Paul Saleh told a conference call.

Meanwhile, the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games said last week that it has full confidence in Atos' teams... to honour the contract that binds them to the IOC and the Paris 2024 Games.

Atos' subsidiary Eviden will provide cyber security for all the Games' information systems, Olympic venues, staff and volunteers, all of which the organisation says are potential targets for cyber attacks. 

The company, which employs 95,000 people, will have 300 staff dedicated to the Games, providing round-the-clock services during the event. To dispel rumours, Atos has arranged a media visit to its Technology Operations Centre, described as "the technology control and command centre that will monitor all 63 Olympic and Paralympic competition and non-competition venues".