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ICT exports and rising R&D spend push TIN100 higher

This article was published on 24 October 2013

Annual TIN100 Report finds a 16.5% surge in TIN100 ICT Revenues in 2013 and 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 swarm of TIN100 ICT companies growing on both sides of the Tasman; 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 today.
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.  It is produced by the Technology Investment Network in association with Callaghan Innovation. Other sponsors include NZTE, EY, Vodafone, Aon and Lumley

In the 2012-13 year TIN100 companies increased their combined revenue by 3.7% to $7.26 billion.  TIN100 export revenues increased by 3.0% to NZ$5.3B.The next 100 companies (TIN100+) ranked by revenue grew by 9% to $640m.

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 $122m growth of IT Services and Support companies. These companies contributed nearly half of the total $260m growth for TIN100 companies.”

Software development sectors, General Software, Healthcare, 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.
The challenge of the NZ$ now appreciating against our two largest export market currencies, the A$ and US$, is transforming the TIN100 in a number of ways. Those sectors like ICT that are less affected by currency are showing the strongest growth. Successful companies are investing more heavily in R&D and sales and marketing (up by 10% and 5% respectively on 2012) and focused on attracting and retaining talent (the second most important CEO issue).

High-tech manufacturers who have invested in new products and who have broad global exposure have been more resilient. Moving to recurring revenue streams such as Software as a Service or consumables are proving critical contributors to profitability.

Importantly, the majority of the top 10 companies by revenue growth on 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.
“You only have to glance through this report to see that New Zealand is full of businesses with ground-breaking 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 to make simpler for businesses to access.” 

The 2013 TIN100 Report was launched on 23 October at a gala dinner in Auckland attended by 140 technology sector business leaders and stakeholders. Hon Steven Joyce, Minister for Economic Development and Minister of Science and Innovation, was the special guest speaker at the event.