French service provider OVHcloud has reported increased revenues in 2021, despite an eventful year.

First-quarter earnings were up 14 percent to €187.2 million ($212.9m), attributed to the company winning new customers. This came after a successful market flotation in October, which came on top of a disastrous fire in March that destroyed an entire data center in Strasbourg.

ovhcloud RBX3.jpg
– OVHcloud

Recent new customers include EDF Renewables and HarfangLab.

Trusted alternative

Despite the fire, OVHcloud CEO Mnichel Paulin said the company offered a "trusted alternative" in an earnings call. OVHcloud presents an alternative to US web giants AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, which meets European demands for privacy and require a local cloud solution providing data sovereignty.

"There is a new momentum for new regulations," Michel Paulin said, according to a Reuters report. "OVHcloud is uniquely well-positioned to propose alternative solutions against most of the hyperscalers."

However, Reuters noted that Google, AWS, and Azure are all moving to meet Europe's GDPR privacy regulations.

The effects of March fire, which destroyed the SBG2 data center and crippled SBG1, still hang over OVHcloud. Law firm Ziegler & Associates is bringing a class action on behalf of more than 50 OVHcloud customers, which will claim that the fire was the responsibility of the cloud provider, which has been alleged to have cut corners on fire prevention.

The company delayed publishing any findings on the cause of the fire until after its IPO, claiming it was forced to do so because of the involvement of insurance firms and government agencies. OVHcloud has promised a fire report in 2022.

Some predicted that OVHcloud would lose customers over its handling of the fire, but this effect appears to be behind it. A JP Morgan report says the cloud provider has a 112 percent revenue retention rate for this last quarter. The rate for the whole year ending August, which would have been affected by the March fire, was 100 percent.

The company expects revenue in 2022 to be between 12 and 15 percent, with a core profit margin of 40 percent.

Get a weekly roundup of EMEA news, direct to your inbox.