LONDON The U.K. has the most ranked companies in the 2007 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA which identifies the fastest growing high-tech firms but the eneral trend is that fast-growing technology firms are becoming more evenly spread across the region, including Eastern and Southern Europe, and less centred in the traditional lead economies.
The U.K. has 91 of the top 500 companies closely followed by France with 68 – see table below – while Israeli firms take first, second and third place in terms of growth.
Average five-year revenue growth for all companies is 1443 percent, the highest since the awards began and a survey of the CEOs of the companies listed reveals that 79.5 percent were extremely or very confident of managing the same growth rates over the coming two years – the second highest level in seven years.
The list ranks public and private technology companies from 21 countries in EMEA with a minimum revenue of €50,000 in year one. The software sector continues to dominate the ranking, making up 200 of the 500 companies.
Proportional to population numbers, technology firms in Norway, Israel, Sweden, Ireland, Finland and Holland are in a class of their own when it comes to technology acceleration, with high-growth technology firms between 2 and 5 times more common than anywhere else in the region.
While the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA shows a consistent increase in average growth rates year on year, this is in stark contrast to that of the North American Fast 500, where average growth rates have been falling since 2001. Fast 500 North America shows average five year revenue growth rates falling from a peek of 6,772 percent in 2002 to 1,823 percent in 2007.
Top of the ranked Companies in this years list was Voltaire Ltd (Herzeliya, Israel), a developer of interconnect solutions for high performance grid computing and which uses InfiniBand technology and had a growth of 50,612 percent. Second with a growth rate of 29,627 percent was Celltick Technologies Ltd, which provides mobile content solutions and which Deloitte says is based in Israel but which claims on its web site to be headquartered in London.
A pioneer of orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) technology, Runcom Technologies Ltd (Rishon Lezion, Israel) was third with growth of 27,950 percent.
The boom in global positioning systems saw TomTom International N.V. (Amsterdam, Netherlands) gain fourth spot with a growth of 17,193 percent while logistics specialist, Bybox Holdings Ltd (Wantage, England), was the top U.K. company with a growth of 15,272 percent.
The CEOs surveyed said that good technology people are becoming harder to come by. Finding, hiring and retaining qualified employees is the greatest operational challenge for just under half of CEOs, significantly up on previous years.
While 13.4 percent of firms currently employ over 15 percent of their workforce abroad, CEOs see this figure rising to 46.6 percent within 5 years.
The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA programme was created in 2000 and includes all areas of technology, from Internet to biotechnology, from medical and scientific to computers/hardware. It includes both public and private companies. The awards, which have been running in EMEA for seven years, are based on five-year average percentage revenue growth.