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Jun 07 2007

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Une étude intéressante…

Une étude intéressante sur le marché anglais du travail collaboratif – No, I haven’t decided to blog in French, but I found a French blogger interested in what is happening in the UK construction collaboration market.

My French is poor but (with a little help from the Babel Fish website translator) I think the writer, Emmanuel Netter, says the UK market is not dramatically bigger than its French equivalent – a bit less than twice the size (though opinions are apparently very divided on the size of the French market), and worth [2005] around 18m Euros in terms of turnover; and says it is astonishing that, nearly ten years after their foundation, few of the major players are returning consistent profits. In the circumstances, Emmanual then asks how vendors persuade their investors to continue to support them.

Perhaps I can partly respond to this last point by updating the figures. Emmanuel focused on my November 2006 post: BIW’s growth continues – but what about the others?, but I recently updated the figures to produce the diagram for my UK vendor trends post last month – so I thought I would reproduce the table here.

Company year end T/0 2006 T/0 2005 T/0 2004 T/0 2003 PT Profit 2006 PT Profit 2005 PT Profit 2004 PT Profit 2003
4Projects* 31 Mar

2.7

2.1

1.6

1.0

0.27

0.13

0.14

Asite 31 Dec

1.354

1.529

1.674

1.697

0.857

-1.327

-3.962

-2.457

BuildOnline 31 Mar

2.793

2.856

2.462

1.736

-0.963

-0.551

-0.259

-0.697

Bus. Collab. 31 Dec

2.350

1.923

1.476

0.935

0.139

0.004

-1.837

-0.349

BIW 30 Sep

4.660

4.018

3.018

2.691

-0.171

-0.192

-0.516

-0.816

StoreData 31 Dec

1.594

1.150

0.425

0.181

Total (£m)

15.451

13.576

10.23

8.059

-1.342

-1.849

-6.444

-4.179

BIW as %

30.16

29.60

29.50

33.39

Perhaps the key word above is ‘trends’. Reading the updated figures and looking at the trends, it seems clear that several UK vendors (eg: BIW [my employer], 4Projects, Business Collaborator) are seeing consistent annual growth which has finally translated into business profits. Presumably each business has been able to predict to its shareholders with a reasonable degree of confidence when sales revenues would finally exceed the often substantial fixed costs involved in delivering its services. Unfortunately, the trend for other UK vendors has not been so consistent.

The European dimension

I would be interested to know if Emmanual has any information on the turnover and/or profitability of companies in the French construction collaboration technology market, particularly BuildOnline (now part of CTSpace), which has had a French-based operation for some time (I recently concluded that, outside the UK, BO was also losing money – see BuildOnline investors nursing losses).

Only last week I read a post (Spotlight shines on SaaS in Europe) on Phil Wainewright’s blog about the emergence of some strong indigenous SaaS vendors in Europe. Phil highlighted analysis from Saugatuck Technology that suggests 2007 will be a boom year for SaaS companies in western Europe, with SaaS adoption set to double (from 16.9 percent in 2006 to 33.8 percent in 2007) – faster than in the US (though Europe tends to lag behind the US in its cultural acceptance of new technologies by about 18 months). Phil then lists a few businesses with significant revenues and user bases. If these are the yardsticks for comparison, then BIW Technologies – with over 80,000 registered users and a 2006 turnover of £4.6m (US$9.2m) – should be considered one of the leading European SaaS vendors.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2007/06/une_tude_intres/

2 pings

  1. Une étude intéressante… (deux) | Extranet Evolution

    […] last week’s post regarding the French market for construction collaboration technology, I have had some interesting […]

  2. MBO at 4Projects (2) | Extranet Evolution

    […] Asite), which report their figures more fully to Companies House (see previous post) – to date, we have relied on brief statements in the press to gauge 4Projects’ […]

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