By Pattrick Smellie
Aug. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Baggage handling software and systems manufacturer BCS Group is the stand-out performer in the 2014 TIN-100 annual report on high tech New Zealand companies, growing total revenues 43 percent to more than $140 million in the latest financial year and targeting annual revenues of $200 million by 2016.
Privately held, Auckland-based BCS had the second highest increase in turnover, up $56.5 million, according to initial findings from the TIN-100 report, the 10th edition of which will be published in full in October and acts as a bible of New Zealand high tech companies.
The 2014 report shows a reversal of the trend since 2010 for information and communications technology firms to lead revenue growth, with high tech manufacturing revenues in the top 10 companies to watch rising more than 60 percent, where growth rates had dropped since 2010, while ICT revenues rose only a little over 30 percent among the top 10 companies to watch.
In 2010, revenue growth among the top 10 was 70 percent, having risen steadily from a little under 30 percent annual growth since 2010.
Revenue growth in the third broad category measured by the TIN-100 - bio-technology companies - remained relatively low, at around 5 percent growth among the top 10 companies to watch.
AFT Pharmaceuticals, which has indicated plans to list on the NZX, entered the top 10 to watch list for the first time, with $14.9 million growth in revenues in 2014. The privately held company said it was targeting sales in the 2014 financial year of $80 million when it announced in May that it had attracted 10.6 percent equity investment from a US specialist healthcare fund and Auckland-based Milford Asset Management, which bought 7.58 percent and 3.03 percent of AFT respectively. The firm markets nearly 300 medicines to pharmacies and is best-known for its Maxigesic product, combining the painkillers paracetamol and ibuprofen in a single product.
BCS Group is a hybrid of both high tech manufacturing and ICT, with its software for airport baggage handling creating its primary source of differentiation, backed up by manufacturing in Malaysia and China, the company's services and solutions manager, Marc Michel, told BusinessDesk.
NZX-listed Fisher & Paykel Healthcare topped the list for revenue growth in 2014, putting on extra sales of $67.1 million, but the increase relative to total revenue of $623.4 million was outstripped by BCS Group.
Also showing strong revenue growth was Orion Health, which added $41 million of revenue in 2014 on revenues of more than $100 million, and steel fabricator for the dairy, wine and brewing industries, NDA Group, showed the fourth strongest revenue growth at $40 million.
Management software firms Diligent Board Member Services and Xero were fifth and sixth by value, at $31.3 million and $31 million revenue growth respectively.