FD.nl: "Infradata is the fastest-growing company in the Southwest of the Netherlands"

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With a slight edge over game server provider i3d.net, Infradata is this year’s fastest-growing company in the provinces of South Holland and Zeeland. The ICT company from Leiden saw its revenue grow by 452% between 2009 and 2011. Thanks to this, Infradata won the Golden Gazelle in the midsize companies category in South Holland.

This was announced on Thursday during the third regional presentation of the FD Gazellen Awards 2012 on the premises of the Waal construction company in Vlaardingen. The host company also experienced major growth: in 2009 Waal’s revenues were € 70.1 million; in 2011 revenues had increased to € 115.4 million, which translates into an increase of 64%. Nevertheless, the construction company was not able to clinch the Golden Gazelle. It was won by ICT company Centric from Moordrecht (139%).

Three categories

This marks the ninth time that the newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad has presented the FD Gazellen Awards to all companies who saw an uninterrupted minimum revenue growth of 20% over fiscal years 2009, 2010 and 2011. What was exceptional this year is that the awards were not presented in a theatre but on site at (old) Gazellen itself.

Gazelles are awarded in three categories: small (€ 100,000 to € 2 million), midsize (€ 2 million to € 30 million) and large (over € 30 million). This year there were 350, compared to last year’s 240. In the provinces of South Holland and Zeeland, a total of 77 companies received an FD Gazelle. The company with the highest revenue growth per province and per category wins a Golden Gazelle.

The right people

The revenue achieved by Infradata, which installs networks for KPN and Vodafone, among others, increased from € 4.2 million in 2009 to € 23.4 million in 2011. CEO Leon de Keijzer explained that his company’s growth was not only due to the continuously swelling data traffic, but also in large part to his excellent employees. ‘Ultimately, it all comes down to having the right people.’

Despite the wildly growing revenue numbers, Infradata is having difficulties on account of the crisis, De Keijzer admitted. ‘Our customers are a lot more reserved. They postpone investments and hold on to their current network longer.’ Regardless, De Keijzer believes that providers of Internet services should continue to invest in their networks. ‘Otherwise they will get dissatisfied customers who will then switch companies.’

A day out in Goes

One company that does not have any problems with losing customers is Bax-shop.nl in Goes. The audio equipment web shop saw its revenue increase by 284% during the last three years: from € 5.1 million in 2009 to € 19.5 million in 2011. This growth was good for a Golden Gazelle in the midsize category in Zeeland, which Bax-Shop.nl had already taken home three times before.

Although online sales continue to grow, the company opened a 1,600 m2 ‘music palace’ at the beginning of this year. ‘When people come to Goes, it should be like a day out’, explained owner Jochanan Bax. ‘Last year we made a major investment in the new store. It is secretly becoming a very good sales outlet. Revenue has quadrupled compared to our old store. And that’s in six weeks’ time.’

Enormous growth

Automation company Centric won a Golden Gazelle in the large companies in South Holland category. The company’s revenue grew from € 954 million to almost € 2.3 billion between 2009 and 2011. ‘We grew enormously thanks to several acquisitions’, said CEO Hans Schrijver. ‘Last year we acquired Strukton (2011 revenue: € 1.3 billion – ed.). Of course, that greatly increases your revenue.’

The company also made other acquisitions abroad. ‘We are now in Belgium, Scandinavia, Germany, England and Colombia’, Schrijver said. ‘We are consciously avoiding Southern Europe. We’d like to do something in Asia as well, since we haven’t entered that area yet, but the Dutch home market also remains very interesting for us.’

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