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September 14, 1995

SPENDING RISES IN ALL SECTORS OF THE IT BUSINESS

By CBR Staff Writer

The crisis in the Spanish computing sector has finally come to an end, say SEDISI, the Spanish Association of Information Technology Companies, and the Ministry of Energy and Industry. Their optimism stems from the results of their annual study of the sector, which revealed overall growth of 9.2% for 1994, with turnover totalling the equivalent of $7,714m. Contrary to expectations, hardware has proved to be the driving force behind the recovery, up 11.7% with sales of $3,415.8m, which accounted for 52.3% of the gross turnover figure for the domestic market, which was $6,531m, up 7.9% on 1993. Particularly impressive growth was achieved by printing and warehousing systems, up 30.5% and 21.4% respectively, while workstations rose 18.3%, sales of systems in the $16,500 to $165,000 price range grew 14.4%, and large systems, those costing in excess of $825,000, fell 0.3%. Software, representing 10.7% of market, was up 3% at $696.7m, with growth in horizontal applications, 7.6%, and communications software, 6.5%, and a decline in vertical applications, down 9.1%. Hardware maintenance, which accounted for 9.7% of the domestic market, was down 0.7% to $636.7m, but consumables, 3.4%, climbed 17.3% to $223.8m. Services, 23.9% of the market, compared with 35% in 1993, grew 4.8% to $1,562m, mainly supported by the development of value-added services, up 7.2%, and facilities management, ahead by 6.8%.

Prop up

In this section, consultancy and data centre services fell 8.2% and 6.5% respectively. Exports were up 17.3% to $1,183m, while imports grew 4% to a figure of $3,557m. As for the clients, the financial sector continues to prop up a third of the market, while industry increased its purchases by 9.6% but public administration cut back its acquisitions for the first time. Employment in the information technology sector fell for the third year running, by 4.3% in 1994 to 47,743, which also partly explains the increase in turnover per employee, up 14.7% at $161,570. Spending on research and development totalled $259.6m, down 6.6% on 1993. As a percentage of turnover, research and development represented 3.3%, worryingly low compared with the rest of Europe, which has research and development spends double this percentage. The annual report also concludes that Spanish businesses are relatively under-equipped in information technology, compared with their European counterparts. Eduardo Olier, president of the association, called for the creation of a special fund for the acquisition of information technology and specific tax incentives to remedy this scenario. Commenting on the results, Olier expressed his enthusiasm that the sector was returning to the rhythms of growth experienced a few years ago, but he warned that the excitement generated by the excellent last quarter of 1994 had been dampened by the announcement of a cut in government spending in the first quarter of 1995.

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