Exports of kiwifruit technology rose 9% last financial year to NZ$1.25 billion

New Zealand’s top 200 technology export companies generated NZ$15.117 billion in total revenue for FY 2022, up 9% ($1.247 billion) from 12 months earlier, according to the annual Technology Investment Network (TIN) report..

Tech is now the country’s second largest export earner after dairy, accounting for 14% of NZ’s total export earnings in FY22.

Industry growth, despite another year of pandemic lockdowns, remained strong, with 31 companies posting sales in excess of $100 million, up from 12 in FY2012 – including four companies breaking the NZ$1 mark billion, while employment grew by nearly 11% over the year. 12 months into the TIN200 to 62,718 jobs, up from 6,148, and R&D spending increased 18.6% to a total of $1.770 billion.

The average wage of the TIN200 worker increased by $699 to $89,711 – $27,883 higher than the national average of NZ $61,828.

Early-stage New Zealand technology companies raised $192 million in VC and Angel investment from a record 135 deals in FY2022, an increase of $30.5 million from FY21.

Auckland is the powerhouse of Kiwi tech, earning $8 billion in earned income, while three other regions – Wellington, Waikato and Canterbury – posted $1 billion+ in revenue.

For the second consecutive year, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare tops the TIN200 list.

TIN Head of Research Alex Dickson said tech companies grew nine times faster than the overall New Zealand economy last year.

“Resilience aside, Kiwi tech companies are competing and winning overseas at a time of global economic uncertainty and there is a growing sense of confidence in the sector and by those who invest in it,” he said.

“Judging by the numbers, we see our technology businesses supporting much-needed export diversity, productivity and income security as New Zealand charts a path to recovery. Technology companies have added more than $1 billion in revenue growth and $960 million in export growth to the nation’s economy in the past year. The broad export destinations of the sector, the ability to absorb shocks and prevent conflicts with climate goals are a major asset in this regard.

Dickson said that on the current trajectory, technology exports will reach $20.5 billion by 2027, but challenges such as attracting, training and retaining skilled talent remain an obstacle.

Now in its 18th year, the TIN report is the premier annual benchmark for the performance of New Zealand’s 200 largest globally focused technology companies, categorized by the primary sectors of biotech, ICT (information and communication technologies) and high-tech manufacturing.

Tech growth is shifting

Job growth in the New Zealand technology sector continues to accelerate despite the tight labor market and a shortage of onshore expertise. The total number of employees worldwide grew by 10.9% to 62,718, mainly due to job creation in the ICT sector.

The report found that the growth of high-paying tech jobs at home is having a profound effect on the domestic economy, with an additional $264 million in wages entering the country.

Collectively, TIN200 companies invested $1,770 billion in research and development in the past year, an increase of 18.6%, reflecting the need to continuously innovate and adapt to the changes brought about by a rapidly evolving world.

Robust growth

ICT was the main TIN200 growth driver in 2022, with a revenue increase of 15.1% or $860 million, accounting for 66.7% of total TIN200 growth.

Of this primary sector, the Fintech, Software Solutions and Communication Solutions subsectors have shown strong growth of 17.3% ($316 million), 25.6% ($214 million) and 20.3% ($86 million), respectively.

The report also found New Zealand technology companies breaking new ground as exports bring more revenue with 76% of total TIN200 revenue earned offshore over the past year. The total value of exports to Asia reached $1.05 billion, nearly double what it was two years ago. Australia, the largest technology export market, grew 11.9% with sales of more than $4 billion, surpassing domestic sales of $3.6 billion this year.

Auckland remains the powerhouse of New Zealand’s technology sector, accounting for 55% of all TIN200 earned income. This year, businesses in the Otago/Southland region grew 26% or $103 million, while the Canterbury/Upper South Island region reached total sales of $1.1 billion for the first time.

Copies of the 2022 TIN Report sponsored by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), Absolute IT, BNZ, NZX, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and GD1 can be ordered here.

TThe top 10 ranked companies in each category are:

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