Sector now third-largest exporter behind dairy and tourism with $6.5b and growing fast

Technology, New Zealand's third-largest export behind dairy and tourism has had record growth this year.

Managing director of Technology Investment Network Greg Shanahan says although it is not about to overtake dairy just yet, it is a case of "watch this space".

The 11th annual TIN100 report produced by Technology Investment Network (TIN) was released last night at a cocktail event at the ASB Cube on Auckland's North Wharf with several hundred guests including Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce.

The report tracks the progress of New Zealand's technology companies as well as the sector as a whole.

Advertisement

Dairy remains New Zealand's largest export sector with $14.2 billion, followed by tourism at $11.8 billion, according to latest Statistics NZ figures. Technology is third with $6.5 billion - a number Shanahan said was continuing to rise.

Over the past year the sector has had record growth of $609 million, or 7.3 per cent, with combined revenue for the top 200 technology companies surveyed by TIN reaching just under $9 billion. The majority of the sector's revenue was from high-tech manufacturing companies including Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Gallagher Group and Compac Sorting Equipment. Shanahan said the growth in revenue across all technology sectors was a reflection of the firms' dedication and hard work.

"Although macroeconomic factors played a significant part in the performance, much of the success can be attributed to the hard work and ambition of the companies themselves," he said.

"There is a very sophisticated ecosystem operating in New Zealand now with companies conscious of what the key success drivers are, and eager to pioneer best practices to achieve market leadership."

One of the major contributors to this growth was companies in the financial services sector, which was the fastest growing in both dollar and percentage terms. The 11 financial services companies across the top 200 companies grew revenue by $129 million for the year, or 58 per cent.

Companies going public or attracting investment from overseas was also a major trend, with 13 public listings from the top 200 tech companies in the past two years - more than had listed collectively in the previous 10 years.

It was an exciting time for technology companies, said Shanahan.

"Whilst technology exports aren't about to knock dairy exports off its perch just yet - watch this space".

Tech 2015

Technology sector growth of $609 million or 7.3 per cent

Total revenue for top 200 companies of just under $9 billion

Workers in sector up 6.9 per cent to 37,000

Export revenue up 7.5 per cent to $6.5 billion

High-tech manufacturing $5.5 billion - up 4.6 per cent

ICT $2.4 billion - up 13.1 per cent

Biotech $350.5 million - up 8 per cent