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Intellect: European software industry booming

Heavy R&D investment is keeping the European software industry a strong force in the world economy, according to the IT trade body

The European software industry is booming at the moment, according to IT trade association Intellect.

At an awards ceremony in Brussels on Monday, Intellect announced the top European IT companies for 2007 — the "Truffle 100".

The top four European software companies in terms of revenue were announced as Germany's SAP, followed by UK firm Sage, and the two French companies Dassault Systemes and Business Objects. Software AG, a German company, overtook the UK's Misys for fifth position in Intellect's Truffle 100.

"With €22bn in revenues, up 6.6 percent, despite significant acquisitions by US companies, and €2.8bn in profits, the European software industry need not be modest about its position in the world economy," said Jean-Pierre Brulard, vice president of Syntec Informatique, a French IT industry body also present at the ceremony.

Intellect said that European companies are successfully facing global competition through constant innovation and heavy investment in R&D. The Truffle 100 European companies last year collectively invested €3.3bn in R&D, or 15 percent of total revenues, and 63 percent of them expect to increase their investments this year.

"With a headcount of 175,000, Europe's software vendors have become a key force in creating new, added-value jobs for engineers, computer programmers and other highly qualified employees," said an Intellect statement.

The data for the ranking was collected by market research firm CXP in association with Truffle Capital, a private-equity firm. Bernard-Louis Roques, a general partner at Truffle Capital, said that investment in R&D was "excellent news for European economies, which will profit greatly by increased employment throughout the software industry".

"Our data clearly shows that the European software industry is succeeding in reversing the brain drain of the 1990s, when many qualified IT employees sought jobs outside Europe," added Roques.