2013 was the first full calendar and fiscal year for Digia’s international Qt business, after it was taken over in September 2012. The takeover and subsequent development measures have borne fruit.
For Digia, international business operations have recently been strongly oriented towards the production and sale of software development tools. The spearhead in this trend is the Qt software development environment, which Digia acquired in September 2012. In 2013 the Qt business already accounted for 19.9 % of Digia’s entire consolidated net sales.
The Qt commercial development environment is actively used by some 4,000 desktop and embedded software customers. These customers represent a wide variety of sectors, including consumer electronics, automotive industry, aeronautics, energy, defence and the media. In terms of licence sales, the major markets are the United States, Germany and Japan. Most of the revenue from Qt comes from licence sales, and this figure followed an upward trend during 2013.
Digia believes that the current emphasis on mobile platforms in the software development market will become even more marked. This is why one of the areas of focus for 2013 was to develop the mobile support offered by Qt for the Google Android and Apple iOS operating systems. This was launched during 2013. Digia considers Qt to be a highly competitive software development environment for all the leading operating systems.
From the perspective of the Qt business, the market can roughly be divided into three segments: desktop software, embedded software and mobile applications. Digia’s customers are companies that develop their own applications or products in these areas. During 2013, Digia enhanced its offerings in all three segments. Besides mobile support (iOS, Android), Digia has published new product versions for the development of embedded systems (Qt Enterprise Embedded) and mobile applications (Qt Mobile). The new versions include features that are tailored for the aforementioned segments, as well as functionality that is only available with a commercial licence.
A new product family launched during 2013 was Qt Cloud Services, which can be used by developers for example for storing application data and managing users. The scope of the services is growing with each new product version. The internet is also becoming an increasingly strong service channel for product distribution and customer support, thanks to a new customer portal.
Besides product development, 2013 saw a focus on developing the business itself. The aim was to expand both Digia’s own sales network and the network of distributors. Digia’s own sales offices can now be found in Europe, North America and Asia. A new sales office was opened during 2013 in Shanghai. That network is complemented by distributor agreements in Russia, Japan, Poland, China and India. Digia is planning to open sales offices in South Korea, Taiwan and Brazil during 2014.
The like-for-like growth of Digia’s net sales from the Qt business was 25 per cent in 2013 compared to the previous year. A lot of this growth was due to the expansion and enhanced efficiency of sales. Development of sales processes will continue, with further growth being sought from a boosted product selection.