Vista enjoy strong overseas growth

Vista Group Chief Executive Murray Holdaway. Photo / supplied.
Vista Group Chief Executive Murray Holdaway. Photo / supplied.

NZIBA 2012 winner of Best Business Operating Internationally ($10-$50m), Vista (now Vista Group) talks about how NZTE has helped the company enter new markets.

Strong growth in offshore markets has pushed Vista beyond the $50 million category cap for which it won an award in 2012.

The film industry software provider, including cinema management solutions, has listed on the NZX and ASX stock exchanges, expanded into new offshore markets and acquired new businesses.

Its revenue climbed 39 percent to $65.4 million in the year ending December 2015, compared with the previous year.

Vista Group Chief Executive Murray Holdaway said the company has approached growth incrementally and been careful not to expand too fast.

"Since that award Vista has transitioned from a single company that focused on the cinema market to a group of companies focused on the film industry in its entirety," Holdaway said.

He said NZTE has assisted the company's export growth, especially when it came to building relationships in new markets.

"You've got to understand what your customers want and sitting in New Zealand you don't know, no matter how smart you are."

Vista's cinema software solutions are used in more than 70 countries around the world.
NZTE has helped Vista expand into the United States, Japan and China, by providing funding, market intelligence and support on the ground, particularly where it doesn't have people in-market.

Earlier this year, Beijing Weying Technology Co WePiao took a two percent shareholding in Vista Group as part of an agreement to set up a new venture to better enable Vista to tap into China's expanding film market. Vista estimates the deal will generate more than $30 million in the first year.

NZTE's Regional Director for China, Glen Murphy, said this is an excellent example of the sort of deals New Zealand companies can do to rapidly increase their scale while still retaining IP rights and extracting on-going value from the Chinese market.

"Although I also know that signing an agreement like this in China is really the start of the hard-work rather than a finishing point, I'm sure this will be a case study that many companies can learn from in the future," Murphy said..

Vista has also been on the acquisition trail, recently acquiring the Auckland-based cinema and entertainment website Flicks.co.nz, and a half stake in London-based creative studio Powster.

The group won the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year award at the recent Hi-Tech Awards - its biggest win since the 2012 NZIBA.

Content supplied by NZTE. To enter the awards head to www.nziba.co.nz.

- NZ Herald

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