Retail networker DialTime wins Deloitte Fast 50

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E-payment and billing network provider DialTime has been named by business consultancy Deloitte as the fastest-growing Australian technology company for 2004.

Victoria-based DialTime was listed by this year's Deloitte Fast 50 list as growing its revenue 56,303 percent in the last year. The top growth rate last year was 1406 percent.

The company, run by Hal Christiansen, claims to have 7250 networked terminals scattered through 4000 Australian postcodes. Main customers of DialTime include large retailers such as Coles Myer and Caltex.

'The last 12 months have seen a marked improvement in the global technology sector,' Deloitte said in this year's Fast 50 report. 'The average three-year revenue growth of this year's Deloitte Technology Fast 50 winners was an impressive 1383 percent, with combined 2003 revenues for the companies exceeding $1.1 billion.'

DialTime is a private company held by On Q Group, the electronic warehousing division of ASX-listed Australian Pure Fruits.

Second place went to web-based information control and tracking systems Aconex, run by Robert Phillpot and Leigh Jasper. Victoria-based Aconex targets the construction and property management industries. Aconex revenue grew 1252 percent -– a score which would have won it the top slot in 2003.

Third place went to WA-based software and service provider Empired, helmed by Justin Miller, which grew 1092 percent by revenue. Empired provides human capital software and managed services to large clients, including government.

Accountants at Deloitte also singled out software firms Protocom Development Systems and Infomedia and biotech's CDS Technologies for special praise. All three had made the Fast 50 list for four years in a row.

Fifteen of the firms on this year's list scored revenue greater than $20 million. Only six passed the $20 million mark in last year's Fast 50.

Victoria had 36 percent of the companies on the list, followed by South Australia and NSW, which each had 24 percent.

Some 30 percent of companies on the list were software-related, 28 percent internet-based, 16 percent centred on communications, 10 percent on semiconductors, 8 percent computers and peripherals and a further 8 percent from the life sciences.

Deloitte also named Red Oxygen, eLabtronics and SportingPulse as rising stars not yet on the list.

In its report, Deloitte said that business now understood IT better. Seasoned entrepreneurs and managers were making sustainable decisions about IT purchases, based on genuine business benefits.

'Equity markets have also seen an increase in the value of many technology stocks and globally, investors' perceptions of technology-based companies is now on the rise,' Deloitte said.

'Emerging technologies –- such as VoIP, intelligent transport systems, RFID tags [and] WLAN –- global IT outsourcing, and the development and penetration of open source should [make for] an exciting year.'

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