Software AG, a global leader in business infrastructure software, welcomed the fourth edition of the "Truffle 100 Europe" unveiled on November 3rd, 2009, with the support of Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for the Information Society and Media. The “Truffle 100 Europe” is the leading ranking of the top 100 European software companies and the 2009 issue shows that the software industry increased revenue, profits and employment above the European Union industrial averages in 2008 despite the global recession. While Europe’s manufacturers are being hit hard by a drop in export demand, Europe’s software vendors are showing some resilience to the current economic climate. Of particular significance was the increase of over 9% in employment within the software industry at a time when overall employment was shrinking. A larger software sector in Europe would provide a buffer to economic contraction and provide an earlier return to growth.
“We see the significance of a powerful software industry to a modern economy increasing year by year”, commented Bernard-Louis Roques, General Partner, IT, at Truffle Capital. “Revenue, profit and employment all increased in the midst of a difficult economic environment. The software industry is critical to Europe’s future and critical to Europe remaining a place where decisions are made and a source of innovation.”
The Truffle 100 Europe companies last year collectively raised revenue to €25 billion in 2008 (€24.5 billion in 2007) and net profits to €3.6 billion (2007: €3.2 billion). Employment in the top-100 companies grew by over 9% to 212,000 and Research & Development headcount increased by 25% to 52,000. Tax breaks for Research & Development investments was seen as a critical measure in growing the industry by over 75% of vendors.
A major contributor to the economic resilience of the software sector is the role played by business infrastructure software in enabling companies to counter the recession. With organizations facing often contradictory pressure to reduce costs, increase efficiency, implement new industry regulations and effectively deal with industry consolidation, only a flexible and agile IT infrastructure can deliver on all fronts.
Aside from Europe, the Middle East has emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing ICT markets. The region posted a world-leading 1,648.2 per cent growth in internet use from 2000 to 2009, with countries such as the UAE expected to further grow their ICT sectors despite the global economic slowdown. The Emirates’ ICT market is in fact expected to attain a compound annual growth rate of 10 per cent through 2010, with software to represent almost 20 per cent of spending.
“The Middle East’s software players are likewise experiencing similar levels of growth as those being reported by their European counterparts. Our region’s governments are placing information and communications technology as part of their priorities within their respective development agendas, with software as one of the key segments. Other factors such as the rapid growth of internet use, the regional resilience against the global downturn and favourable business environments continue to sustain the Middle East’s image as a major global software market,” said Marco Gerazounis, Senior Vice President, Software AG, Middle East.
On publication of the report, EU Commissioner for Information Society & Media, Viviane Reding (Video interview), called for a renewed strategy for ITC research and innovation in Europe as well as support for large scale research projects that develop modern pan-European ICT-based service infrastructure.
“It is fundamental to our future prosperity that the software industry is seen as strategic at a national and indeed European level”, said Karl-Heinz Streibich, Chief Executive Officer, Software AG. Looking internationally, Mr. Streibich added “I have continuously said that Germany, as Europe’s largest economy and representing nearly 50% of Europe’s software industry must contribute a leading role in further developing Europe’s high-tech industries. I will be driving this issue at Germany’s fourth national IT Summit to be held in December in Stuttgart and welcome EU Commissioner Viviane Reding’s efforts at a European level.”
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