The Baltic Course  

Pan-Baltic parade

Andrei Tsunayev

Accelerated consolidation on the Baltic market of information technologies has forced the Lithuanian company Prime Investment, previously studying the situation on local market level, to expand its field of research and include also Latvia and Estonia. This year's Deloitte&Touche TOP-50 most dynamic developing companies of Central Europe include only four companies from the Baltic states

Pick of the crop

Researchers of Prime Investment informed that they couldn’t get all the information they needed initially from some Baltic companies.  

Despite Microlink (Estonia) and Dati Group (Latvia) giving only estimated figures, it is obvious that both companies are Baltic leaders in connection with profit from IT services. Mikrolink steadily works on the markets of Latvia and Estonia. While Dati Group receives a big share of the profit from exports to western countries (basically the EU), which makes this company the main exporter of software in Latvia. Alna heads the list of Lithuanian enterprises, steadily keeping Baltic third place, especially on results for the first half of 2002 after clinching a deal with Bentley Systems on development and distribution of their software under their own trademark Alna.

As a whole, the IT service sector is the main source of growth for Baltic IT-companies. In comparison to the slow going work of global IT-markets, the large companies of the Baltic states showed an impressive 36% average growth of income from services in the first half of 2002. In the  opinion of Lithuanian experts, if the situation in the global market will not improve, the international players looking for higher opportunities of growth, can turn their sights to the Baltic market. In the mean time the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian companies should consider opportunities for expansion within the region to offer clients a Pan-Baltic scope of services and to keep existing growth rates.


Most dynamic

Every year since October 1995 auditing company Deloitte&Touche has been carrying out research on the industry of technologies in Europe, summing up the results in it's Technology Fast 50 report. The research covers over 10,000 firms from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. In the past three years a growth of income was estimated for firms from 7 countries: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. Encouragement is deserved for the 50 most dynamically developing companies. 

In 2002 four companies from the Baltic states entered the list: three companies from  Latvia and one from Estonia. Estonian Microlink was placed 43rd – with revenues in the last three years up by 126%. On 35th place is Latvian company Lursoft IT (194%), 32nd place is taken by another Latvian company Ankravs ltd (228%), Estonian firm CV-Online (731%) took 14th place. The biggest Estonian enterprise of biotechnologies Asper Biotech was included in the top five from Central Europe, having the 4th best growth result (up 1,550%) among the 50 most dynamical of its colleagues.

Asper Biotech is dedicated to continuing its growth as a post-genome company utilizing its genotyping platform for identifying genetic components of human diseases and for development of assays for the personalized treatment of human disease. Asper’s mission is to be a leading provider of genotyping services and genotyping research. Its customers are and will be in clinical and life science academic research, as well as in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Asper Biotech carries out orders for the best scientific centers of the world. Its clients include Stanford and Colombian universities in the USA and other centers of science.  

The list in 2002 also included 20 Hungarian, 15 Czech, 6 Slovak and 3 companies from Poland.

2002 was not as successful for Baltic companies as 2001 was. In the previous list of the fastest growing companies the Technology Fast 50 included 11 Baltic companies. 50th place was divided between Elinta from Lithuania and IT Alise from Latvia (growth 64%). Further four more Latvian firms followed: 42nd place for BatSoft (86%), 38th for Banku Servisa Centrs (102%), 36th was taken by Tilde (105%) and on 32nd place was OptiCom (114%). 30th came Estonian Helmes (131%), one above at 29th was Latvian company Solcraft (134%). Company Lursoft IT held 20th position in 2001 (261%), and two Estonian companies had entered the top ten: Artec Design Group in 10th place (601%) and CV-Online in 7th place (824%).  

The 2001 list also included: 2 enterprises from Slovakia, 9 from Poland, 14 from Hungary, and 15 from the Czech Republic.

First place in both these years was given to only Hungarian companies. The leader in 2002 was Interactive Net Design Kft, engaged in service and development of internet-banks, while the best company of 2001 was Hirek Media and Internet Technology providing services in the sphere of on-line-media and on-line marketing and electronic commerce.