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In leaps and bounds

By Isabelle Chan, ZDNet AsiaSeveral tech companies defied the odds and recorded phenomenal growth rates, despite weak global market conditions and tightened corporate IT budgets of the past few years.The 20 companies that made it to ZDNet Asia's Top 10 fastest-growing categories proved that no obstacle is too difficult.

By Isabelle Chan, ZDNet Asia

Several tech companies defied the odds and recorded phenomenal growth rates, despite weak global market conditions and tightened corporate IT budgets of the past few years.

The 20 companies that made it to ZDNet Asia's Top 10 fastest-growing categories proved that no obstacle is too difficult. Even in an industry that is viewed by some as "mature", companies can still find new growth opportunities.

Graeme Philipson, an independent tech industry analyst and consultant, said: "It is fashionable to say that the IT industry has matured, and indeed it's true that overall growth rates have dropped back to similar figures as those found in other industries.

"But the fact that some companies can still grow at astronomical growth rates indicates that parts of the industry are not mature at all, but have barely started. In an industry as exciting and as fast-changing as IT, there will always be stellar performers," Philipson added.

ZDNet Asia's fastest-growing companies enjoyed at least an average net income growth rate of more than 239.9 percent over four years. They are Altiris, Network Appliance, Symbol Technologies, Siebel Systems, Symantec, ADIC, F5 Networks, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard and Emerson.

"This highlights the fact that there are opportunities in hardware, software and service industries, as long as you are able to devise the right strategies and come up with the right products."
-- Michael Leung
CIO, Bank of America Asia Limited

The top 10 companies that grew their revenues by more than 36.4 percent over four years are Baidu, Salesforce.com, Research In Motion, Yahoo, Altiris, ECS, Acer, Infosys, Wipro and Red Hat.

Commenting on this "mix bag" of companies, Michael Leung, senior vice president and chief information officer, Bank of America Asia Limited, said: "This highlights the fact that there are opportunities in hardware, software and service industries, as long as you are able to devise the right strategies and come up with the right products.

"But I think there is still plenty for IT companies to do. The market is active again. Companies are looking and buying again as they seek to better compete by transforming their businesses to become more information- and knowledge-based. And as this phase of investment in hardware and infrastructure renewal settles down, new creative software applications should come into prominence," added Leung.

James Loo, COO of Y3 Technologies, hopes to see larger Asian representation in future rankings. "While Baidu is on the list, which is definitely from Asian origin, I hope in the coming years to see more Asian-origin product companies join the ranks," he noted.

Top 10 fastest-growing companies
Below are the companies that scored highest in one criterion--average year-on-year revenue/net income growth over four years.

CompanyRevenue Growth (%)
1. Baidu169.2
2. Salesforce.com95.5
3. Research In Motion75.1
4. Yahoo74.5
5. Altiris70.0
6. ECS55.3
7. Acer54.5
8. Infosys43.0
9. Wipro39.3
10. Red Hat36.4

CompanyNet Income Growth (%)
1. Altiris4,740.1
2. Network Appliance865.8
3. Symbol Technologies777.2
4. Siebel Systems621.1
5. Symantec359.9
6. ADIC310.0
7. F5 Networks307.4
8. Yahoo283.5
9. Hewlett-Packard245.3
10. Emerson239.9

Note: Financials and statistics correct as at September 2005. Data was compiled by ZDNet Asia from sources such as official reports, corporate Web sites, and Hoover's. ZDNet Asia strived to get the latest information but does not guarantee the correctness or completeness of the data. The information provided on this site is for general informational purposes only and is not an offer to buy or sell any securities.