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Ireland’s ‘scrappy’ culture creates good business, says Qualtric’s Ryan Smith

Marine Vicenzotti - 11-nov.-2014 12:47:48
Ireland’s attitude to getting business done was considered one of the reasons Qualtrics, a research software company, decided to establish its European base in Ireland two years ago and it has expanded ever since. Speaking at this year’s Web Summit, the company’s CEO and co-founder, Ryan Smith, said that having visited Ireland during previous Web Summits, he drew comparisons with Ireland and his home state of Utah which he believes had the ‘scrappy’ culture that manages to get things done. This would appear to have been the case as since they first set up their office in Ireland, they have created hundreds of jobs in Dublin and are soon to expand into their new 26,000 sq ft office in Grafton Street. Back home in their native US, the company  is showing considerable growth since Smith and his father both started the company in 2002 from their home garage, having last September raised US$150m in Series B funding and has Microsoft, Fedex, Jet Blue and HP using its data survey, data collection and analysis technology. Speaking of their model of data analysis compared with big data, Smith said, “There’s a lot of discussion around big data and organisations trying to line up, but the reality is that when they get to the end of getting that data sorted out, they typically already know what they’re trying to come up with. And the questions that they don’t have answers to, they still don’t have answers to it.” Colm Gorey - Silicon Republic http://www.siliconrepublic.com/business/item/39228-ireland-s-scrappy-culture/

New Look gets offer for loss-making French business

Marine Vicenzotti - 14-août-2014 10:40:13
British fashion retailer New Look has received an offer for its loss-making French unit Mim and is confident a deal will be struck. The firm, owned by private equity groups Apax and Permira as well as founder Tom Singh, also said on Tuesday its first-quarter sales and earnings exceeded its own expectations as it tapped into key summer fashion trends such as Kimonos, printed trousers and running shorts. Chief Executive Anders Kristiansen declined to name the suitor for the Mim business, which has over 350 stores, but told reporters it was an Asian group that already operates in Europe, though not in retail. "We’re making good progress, I think it will happen," he said, declining to say what the non-binding offer is worth.   New Look, which goes up against Primark and Next in a fiercely competitive British fashion retail market, had said in June it could sell Mim as France is not a country it plans to focus on. Its strategy is to focus on building and developing the New Look brand in Britain, online and internationally in four countries - China, Poland, Russia and Germany. The group said revenue rose 8.1 percent to 392.5 million pounds ($658 million) in the 13 weeks to June 28, with sales at stores open over a year up 8.9 percent. UK like-for-like sales rose 11.6 percent, while e-commerce sales jumped 39.2 percent. New Look said underlying earnings rose 18.8 percent to 59.4 million pounds. Kristiansen said the company was well placed for the year ahead, though he did caution that the second quarter faces tougher comparative numbers versus the year before. "We have had a pleasing start to the second quarter," he said, noting the benefit of good weather. New Look, which currently has net debt of 1.04 billion pounds, pulled a planned stock market listing in 2010 amid turbulent financial markets. Kristiansen said another attempt at an initial public offering (IPO) should not be expected any time soon. "The owners, shareholders, will decide when we should do an IPO ... I don’t see that happening in the imminent future," he said. ($1 = 0.5966 British Pounds) Source: Fashionmag - Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Paul Sandle and Pravin Char

Veolia and EDF finalize their agreement about Dalkia

Christine Deniel - 05-août-2014 15:37:14
The two French companies operating in the energy industry, EDF and Veolia, have just finalized the agreement signed the 25 of March 2014 on their joint subsidiary: Dalkia, which is a leading player in the field of energy services. As part of this agreement, EDF handles the entire business of Dalkia in France while international operations are taken over by Veolia. This transaction, announced in October 2013, was subject to clearances from competition authorities which it was obtained in late June 2014. http://www.euro-energie.com/edf-et-veolia-finalisent-leur-accord-sur-dalkia-n-4507

French cybersecurity firms increasingly successful in fast-growing market

UBIFRANCE - 30-juil.-2014 10:35:56
French cybersecurity firms increasingly successful in fast-growing market Interview : Thibaut Barde, UBIFRANCE’s Project Manager for Digital Trust & Cyber Security, In 2013, there was a 12% year-on-year rise in cybersecurity attacks, with nearly 60% of them causing either brand damage or direct revenue loss to businesses. This, coupled with highly publicized commercial and government breaches of IT security, has increased the demand for cybersecurity services. French companies are strongly placed in this growing market and their advanced solutions are in demand. The 12% year-on-year increase in cybersecurity attacks that affected businesses in 2013 (Source: IBM 2014 Cyber Security Intelligence Index), regrettable as it may be, translates into the fact that the IT-security sector is experiencing sustained growth in this segment of the market. High-profile cases, such as the cyber-attacks on US retail chain Target, have raised awareness among business executives. While US-based and British companies dominate current business in this sector, client entities are looking for alternatives in order to alleviate their worries of government intrusion. In this respect, French specialist companies are a strong contender in the eyes of many professionals and executives working for SMEs and start-ups, but also at established, larger groups: these clients are leveraging the French know-how stemming from top R&D centres and universities. In 2013, the French cybersecurity sector was valued at more than $2 billion. The French network-security sector offers a wide range of services, including B2B IT solutions meeting strategic challenges, and comprises many world champions such as Atos, Orange, Sogeti, Bull, Cassidian and the cybersecurity division at Thales. Thanks to their advanced technical research laboratories, more particularly in cryptology and encryption, French players are recognized worldwide.  According to Thibaut Barde, UBIFRANCE’s Project Manager for Digital Trust & Cyber Security, “The reason for cutting-edge technology [thriving in France] is the quality of French universities in the field of engineering, which is known globally.  Research laboratories associated with these universities train the best engineers of tomorrow.” Secure IC SAS is a shining example of a company that has been working with top graduates having come out of the French educational system in order to become a thought leader in cybersecurity. Its platforms provide the highest level of security on a client entity’s embedded systems, preventing hacking and reverse engineering as well as protecting intellectual property and proprietary data. In 2013, Secure IC SAS won a Sesame Award for innovation in the manufacturing and testing of IT products. French start-ups and SMEs have developed out of a strong domestic talent pool and many have decided to join forces under the HexaTrust label, which regroups 20 hi-tech SMEs that are keen to offer a co-ordinated, total service package to their clients.  These software vendors and integrators provide a full range of products and services dedicated to the protection of the critical infrastructure of businesses and institutions from cyber-attacks. The HexaTrust umbrella group’s portfolio of current and potential clients is diverse and growing, including businesses and public-sector agencies of all sizes. Due to the dramatic increase in the level of sophistication and intensity of cyber-attacks, public- and private-sector investment in cybersecurity is growing fast and is expected to rise by nearly 10% per year between now and 2017. This trend illustrates the promising opportunities that exist for a large business looking for a new market, or for a dynamic SME scaling up a new product. Thibaut Barde of UBIFRANCE Paris explains that, “France’s distance from recent scandals [involving the international and covert collection of data by various government agencies, as revealed in the media] is favourable for French players since awareness on the use of data takes place at a global level. This has helped to build the profile of the industry and has generated increasing concerns for [the security of] personal data, which is a real asset for the French in particular: it is important when it comes to data-storage companies, among others.” Many French companies in the sector are choosing to develop an international business outlook. French players have strong opportunities to seize in this market thanks to their technological expertise, combined with the diversity of products and services they can offer. UBIFRANCE is here to help, with a strong presence at next year’s Infosecurity Europe trade event, where there will be as many as 15 French companies looking to expand their presence into the British market and other European markets. Infosecurity Europe will take place from 2 to 4 June 2015 at the Olympia exhibition centre, in central London (UK). For further information about the trade show, please go to:  http://www.infosec.co.uk/ For further information about UBIFRANCE, please go to:  http://www.ubifrance.com/ Further information about French companies: > Electronics and IT > Telecommunications and Space  

French sports-events companies keep on winning

UBIFRANCE - 30-juil.-2014 10:32:38
Interview : Viviane SILBERSTEIN, Project Head at Ubifrance     While the men’s French football team had its last kick in this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, many French companies continued their successful campaign at the world’s premier sporting event. Rio de Janeiro was the host of the final of the World Cup and one could see signs of French business presence almost everywhere. GL Events of France managed Rio Centro, an exposition park that was the site of FIFA’s organization committee and press centre. Nearby sits a 306-room hotel that was used by many of the FIFA delegates: it was built by French construction group Bouygues and designed by French-born architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Each day, when officials arrived at the state-of-the-art Maracana stadium, the renewable energy powering the stadium was supplied thanks to a pilot project run by French energy group EDF and its partners. French-based companies have a long history of winning contracts for the supply of products and services at major international sporting events. According to Viviane Silberstein, Project Head at UBIFRANCE, much of the winning know-how of French businesses is acquired in their domestic market: “When French companies go abroad, they have to adapt to other markets, but domestic experience already gives a reference and an image, like Roland Garros or the next European football championship, and this is very important for an organizing committee.” France has proven experience in handling international sports events: the country has hosted various Winter Olympics (Chamonix, Grenoble and Albertville), the 1984 UEFA European Championship, the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Every year, France organizes the Tour de France cycling event. Roland Garros is another key international sporting event organised in France, and the country will host the 2016 UEFA European Championship.   GL Event’s performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics helped the company to launch a successful bid for contracts during this summer’s Football World Cup in Brazil. GL Events was responsible for the design and installation of 25 indoor and 15 temporary outdoor sites across London — a contract that represented €21 million. However, even before this sizeable addition to its portfolio, GL Events had been managing a range of international events in Paris for years. In 2014, the Winter Olympics — the most expensive in history, at a total cost of $51 billion — took place in Sochi, in the Russian Federation: 12 French companies won a total of €100 million in contracts. A 2013 survey of the Rhône-Alpes region in South-Eastern France found that there are 300 locally based companies involved in the management of the winter-sports industry, bringing in approximately €1 billion in revenue per year. After all, France ranks third worldwide in winter-sports tourism, after Austria and the USA… French companies, building on their track record, have been successful domestically and internationally in this field. Innovative companies, which offer new products and technologies, find opportunities to showcase their solutions and grow. Seat Advert is a very young company that is revolutionizing the sporting experience: its small screens, as installed in stadiums, allow viewers to peruse ads and access real-time information, including game statistics. Seat Advert’s innovative solution has already found new clients in Mexico, with plans to expand into South America. The company has recently been awarded a contract for this year’s World Equestrian Games in Normandy, in North-Western France. Esportec Eco-Industriel is yet another young innovative company developing natural and ecological surfacing solutions for outdoor spaces. ECO’STABIL®, its patented material, is made out of waste and can be combined with other recycled products. While many of the uses of this and other products are not entirely recreational, they can be used to create cycle tracks, equestrian paths and footpaths. Currently, the company exports to Morocco, Benelux countries and Switzerland: the potential for expansion of this eco-friendly material in export markets is considerable, as more and more international sports events require contractors to pay attention to environmental considerations. Ms V Silberstein of UBIFRANCE explains that French companies are not afraid to take on the biggest challenges and, with their many successes, it is not surprising that, “They are approaching the market based on the biggest business opportunities, and these are the biggest international events, international football events, and Olympic Games. The criterion is not francophone and country specific and, now, UBIFRANCE is working with companies on all events.” International opportunities will continue to grow, with the $100 billion in new investments expected at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, $15 billion at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and $30 billion for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Apart from the biggest prizes over the next decade, there is a diverse set of opportunities that can sustain a business in the coming years. For example, there are smaller but lucrative events that French companies can target through UBIFRANCE, including sales expositions in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and preparatory events in Saint Petersburg (Russia) for the 2018 World Cup, all in the next 12 months. Furthermore, existing markets are always in a state of flux and French companies with good products and services are being rewarded with new contracts. Bodet, an equipment manufacturer specializing in scoreboards and video screens, is a prime example. Even though this French company has been present in the Middle East for more than 30 years, it recently acquired new business from Al Jazeera Sport Studios and in relation to stadiums in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait City. While Ms Silberstein admits that, “The international sports-event market is extremely competitive,” it is also clear that many French companies, encouraged by expertise gained in their domestic market, are more than ready for the challenge. Besides, as she points out, “New opportunities and existing national markets will only grow over the next decade, with contracts that are so big that, if you have a small percentage of this contract, it is worth fighting for it.” In conclusion, it is clear that French-based companies are poised to continue with their off-the-pitch success in this competitive market. Further information about French companies: > Tourism, Hospitality, Sport      

The French aircraft constructor, Airbus, leave Farnborough with 55 billion € of orders

Christine Deniel - 22-juil.-2014 15:44:45
The Farnborough International Airshow, located next to London, is one of the world’s largest exhibitions and air displays for facilitating first-class businesses opportunities for the global aerospace industry. The 2014 edition was the best of Airbus history. The group has signed orders of 353 aircrafts, worth of 28.3 billion € and memoranda of understanding for the purchases of 138 others devices for 27.2 billion €. The event was marked by the successful launch of the A330neo with a record of 121 purchase intentions by the Russia’s Transaero Airlines. The main order was from the Irish based leasing company: SMBC Aviation Capital, with 110 A320neo and 5 A320 for an estimated value of 8.5 billion €. 

One of the best place to launch an innovative tech startup is France

Cecile BERTHELEME - 10-juil.-2014 12:13:55
France is a country particularly appealing to technology startups. This goes especially for companies doing predictive analysis using Big Data such as PrediSis, a startup launched a year ago and working with distribution, e-commerce, and bank-insurance companies. Jean-Louis Fuccellaro and Bertrand Grezes-Besset, co-founder of PrediSis describe the reasons making France one of the greatest location for startupers. When talking about startups and technologies, France isn’t usually the top of mind. When leaders of the sector are in the US and London is the second world financial center, France offers key succes factors that can make the difference for tech companies.  France is one of the only country benefitting from both highly qualified and educated engineers as well as a support  from public authorities encouraging innovation. Most of the market is located outside of France, often in the US when taking into account the biggest players but being a startup using the web means forgetting about geographical barriers and being able to work from anywhere. Thus, location of the market shouldn’t be the most important aspect when choosing a place to launch a startup, resources should be. France has it both: capital and human resources. Engineering is a strong suit for France. The average level of its engineers is high. PubliSis partners can take their many years managing international teams as a proof. Moreover, trainings usually include  a strong culture in software engineering and mathematics as well as a theoritical base which is quit unique. Young graduates are capable of developing skills and know how to adapt to new technologies. For instance, Big Data, implies a development strategy that is absolutely new. Having talents at the cutting edge of technology, France is part of the world leaders in this sector. Moreover, public authorities in France are supporting innovation and technology. The government is well-aware of the importance of the tech sector for its economy. As a result, many organisations and mecanisms can be used by companies to raise funds and invest in R & D giving them a distinct comparative advantage. Founded in June 2013, PrediSis is located in Lannion, France by Jean-Louis Fuccellaro (former CEO of Orange Labs in the UK) and Bertrand Grezes-Besset (from Orange Business Service and n°2 of Sofrecom,  international consulting firm). http://blog.lefigaro.fr/legales/2014/07/mieux-vait-lancer-une-startup-innovante-en-france-quaux-etats-unis.html
About Us
The French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE in Dublin is the trade section of the French Embassy in Ireland. Our bicultural team comprises 7 motivated professionals, dedicated to the promotion of the trade between Ireland and France, helping the Irish trade to source products from France and French exporters to find Irish partners. Our office is organised in business sectors: -     Agribusiness , -     Fashion, Housing, Healthcare , -     Infrastructure, Transport, Industry, -     ICT, Innovation, Services, Please click here to view our organigram. We organise Trade Events on a yearly planning, for which you may participate and register your interest. Furthermore, we are in a position to help you source products from France on an individual basis. If you are looking for French suppliers, please contact us or visit the French Exporters Directory ( www.ubifrance.com ) D

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