Accelerate - November 2013

High R&D spend pays off for TIN 100 starts

Annual TIN100 Report finds a 16.5% surge in TIN100 ICT revenues in 2013 and a 10% rise in R&D spend contribute to growth in technology export sector.

New Zealand’s technology export sector is being buoyed by double digit (16.5%) growth from a growing swarm of TIN100 ICT companies on both sides of the Tasman, plus a general recovery in the US market and increased investment in R&D and staffing. Those are some of the key findings of the ninth annual TIN100 Report, an analysis of the performance of the top 100 New Zealand-founded high-tech companies, which was released on 24 October.

The TIN100 Report monitors the performance of New Zealand’s 200 (TIN100 and TIN100+) largest technology exporters in the areas of information and communication technology (ICT), high-tech manufacturing and biotechnology.

In the 2012-2013 year, TIN100 companies increased their combined revenue by 3.7% to $7.26 billion. TIN100 export revenues increased by 3% to $5.3 billion, while the next 100 companies (TIN100+) ranked by revenue grew by 9% to $640 million.

TIN100 Report publisher Greg Shanahan says that, in 2013, growth was dominated by ICT companies, whose revenues grew strongly on both sides of the Tasman, and from a smaller base in the US. “The single biggest contributor to TIN100 growth was the $122 million growth of IT services and support companies. These companies contributed nearly half of the total $260 million growth for TIN100 companies.”

Software development sectors, general software, healthcare, the financial sector and digital media all grew in excess of 20%. In addition, the report shows that mobile solutions, cloud computing and software as a service are creating new growth and profit opportunities that are being readily adopted by TIN100 companies.

Despite being adversely impacted by unfavourable NZ$/A$ movements and a slowing Australian economy, high-tech manufacturing also enjoyed growth in North America as the economy there showed signs of strengthening.

Successful companies are investing more heavily in R&D and sales and marketing (up by 10% and 5%, respectively, on 2012) and focusing on attracting and retaining talent.

Importantly, the majority of the top 10 companies by revenue growth in both the TIN100 and the TIN100+ had received, or were receiving, business innovation support via government R&D funding – indicating a greater awareness of the value of innovating through research and development.

“This report clearly highlights that New Zealand is full of businesses with groundbreaking ideas which, with the right support, have the potential to deliver global success,” Callaghan Innovation Chief Executive Mary Quin says.

“Many of them have been nurtured through government R&D funding, research and technical services or venture capital, or a combination of those – all of which we are actively working on to make it simpler for businesses to access funding.”

The 2013 TIN100 Report is produced by the Technology Investment Network, in association with Callaghan Innovation. Other sponsors include NZTE, EY, Vodafone, Aon and Lumley.

Updated: 7 September 2015