Call for entries for 2009 Deloitte Fast 50 awards


02-06-2009

Entries have now opened for the 2009 Deloitte Fast 50 Technology awards. The awards, now in their 12th year, recognise and rank technology companies with an exceptional growth in turnover over the last five years.

Last year’s winning entry was Thunderhead, a London-based enterprise communications software house, with an astounding growth rate of 28,558 per cent. Glen Manchester, Thunderhead CEO commented: "2008 was an exciting year for us, and winning the 2008 Deloitte Fast 50 competition was the icing on the cake. We’ve been expanding extremely rapidly, and welcomed the additional national profile that this prestigious award brings.

David Halstead, Deloitte technology partner and chairman of the Fast 50 said: "The Technology Fast 50 awards are an opportunity for businesses to gain recognition for their successes and achievements over the previous 12 months. In what has been a turbulent environment for the sector, there has never been a more important time for businesses to highlight their achievements."

The launch of the Fast 50 coincides with the launch of the Deloitte report 'When The Crunch Bytes' which analyses the key operational and financial concerns of last year’s entrants to the Fast 50, and shows that the economic conditions facing the 2008 winners appear the most challenging experienced in the eleven years that the Fast 50 programme has been operating.

David Halstead comments: "The recession is having a marked impact on the way in which Fast 50 companies are being run. Investment decisions are much more black and white: management teams generally do not have the luxury to "see how things go." Instead the focus on return on investment is relentless. The pressure to reduce working capital has also increased in the last twelve months. Increasingly our respondents felt the impact of reduced credit terms from their suppliers, whilst the largest cost for many of these companies – staff salaries and wages – result in steady, constant and regular expenditure which may not match fluctuations in turnover or cash flows."

Main findings:

* Key financial concerns cited: working capital (36%), financing (28%), and margin management (24%); other/ none (12%)

* Operational concerns: employee acquisition and retention (47%), managing external relationships (15%), new product or services (7%), operational structure (28%); other (3%);

* Reaction to the economic slowdown: headcount reduction/ freeze (47%), reduced R&D and/ or expansion plans (20%), increase debt (8%), reduce marketing/ PR spend (25%).

"There are also plenty of positive messages coming from this year’s winners: a challenged economy represents opportunity as well as challenge for technology entrepreneurs. The majority of our respondents are self-funded, which could turn out to be a competitive advantage in an environment of scarce liquidity."

For full details and award entry forms please visit: www.fast50.co.uk

Technology Fast 50 Eligibility criteria

  • The company must have been in business for a minimum of five years;
  • The company must be considered a technology company, which is defined as:
    • producing technology
    • manufacturing technology-related products
    • be technology intensive, or use unique technology to solve problems
    • devoting a high percentage of effort to technology R&D;
  • The parent company must be UK-owned and have its headquarters in UK or Ireland (subsidiaries of multinational organisations do not qualify);
  • Operating revenues must be at least £34,000 (50,000 Euros) for 2004 and £540,000 (800,000 Euros) in 2008.
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    The Deloitte Cambridge office comprises 8 Partners and over 250 staff who deliver a full range of professional services to the East Anglian region. As well as focussing on the life sciences and technology sectors for which the region has become so renowned, the office has long standing specialisms in other sectors including the professions, consumer business, food and agribusiness.

    Deloitte LLP