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2007年全球翻译公司25强排行榜
  发表日期:2009年3月6日  共浏览15153 次   出处:CommonSense Advisory    作者:Renato S. Beninatto, Donald A. DePalma  【编辑录入:giltworld
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Ranking of Top 25 Translation Companies

  • But First, the Numbers: The Market Grew Faster Than in Previous Years

Based on the revenue data we collected and in conversations with LSPs of every shape and size, 2007 was a banner year. The average year-over-year growth rate of companies in our 2007 Top 20 list was 26.68 percent. We revised our 2007 estimate from US$10 billion to US$12.1 billion and adjusted our projections accordingly (see Table 1). Based on the trend-line over the last five years, we predict that the market will reach US$24 billion by 2012. That growth equates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.6 percent over the coming quinquennium.

Region Market
Share
2008
US$ M
2009
US$ M
2010
US$ M
2011
US$ M
2012
US$ M

Europe

43%

6,145

7,202

8,306

9,336

10,350

U.S.

40%

5,770

6,762

7,799

8,767

9,718

Asia

12%

1,648

1,932

2,228

2,504

2,776

ROW

5%

686

804

928

1,043

1,156

Totals

 

14,250

16,700

19,260

21,650

24,000

Table 1: Projected Language Services Revenues for 2008-2012 in U.S. Millions of Dollars
Source: Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

We can attribute some of the revenue growth – four percent, to be exact – to foreign exchange issues. However, the main driver for growth was increased sales in an economic environment favorable to international trade and relations.

These simple rows and columns mask a landmark change in the market. Europe now represents more translation revenue than the United States. The 15 euro-zone countries surpassed the U.S. in GDP for the first time. The European Union as a whole topped the United States in terms of broadband penetration. The translation industry went along for the ride. LSPs are reaping the benefits of a more global economy and are growing despite indications of a recession in the United States.

 
   
 How We Ranked the Companies
 

As always, Common Sense Advisory’s list of the top-performing translation companies goes beyond translation to include companies or divisions of companies that make most of their revenue by providing language services, be it in written or verbal form, on paper, over the web, in person, via video, inside software applications, in Brno, Des Moines, or Shenzhen.

Because there are so few publicly traded companies in the language arena, this list always involves a lot more legwork than producing a similar register for the automotive or telecommunications industries. So it goes.

  • Public companies. All the public companies show up on our list, accounting for 36 percent of our final tally. For most of these firms, we have the luxury of reviewing annual reports and official filings. However, some of these are large corporations with specialized business units for which they do not break out numbers. For these companies whose main activity is not language services, but have business units or divisions that provide such services, we considered only that unit’s revenue. Getting these numbers can be a challenge.
  • Privately-held companies. These firms consume most of our time, since we approach 100-plus candidate companies to come up with our list of 25. We call their executives to find out what they earned in the preceding year, probe for the magic number, and then ask them for financial statements to confirm their data. Private firms in some countries are not obligated to release any data, so we can only check their financials to the extent that they allow us. Once we’ve done that, we confirm the information with at least three independent sources and verify their numbers against a set of industry metrics in our “smell test.”
 
   
 The Top 25 List Becomes More Global with Each Passing Year
 

Our list for 2007 includes LSPs from 17 countries: the U.S. (6), U.K. (4), Czech Republic (2), Switzerland (2), and China, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden (one each). LLCJ is a joint venture of companies from four countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Spain).

While American and British companies still dominate the rankings, Scandinavia tripled its contribution of LSPs to the list with companies from Finland, Norway, and Sweden – and a Danish company, LanguageWire, also almost made it to the Top 25. Meanwhile, a second Asian LSP, hiSoft, joins Honyaku in the top echelon.

Fig01
Figure 1: U.S. and U.K. Companies Still Dominate the Top 25 List in Total Revenues Earned
in U.S. Dollars
Source: Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

With so many of the Top 25 reporting revenue in other currencies, our conversion into a baseline unit – the U.S. dollar – becomes even more important than in the past. For non-U.S. companies outside the United States, we divide their revenue in local currency by average exchange rate for the 365 days of their fiscal year. Thus, the average exchange rate for tenth-ranked RWS Group was US$1.9692 per pound sterling (GBP) for the fiscal year ended on 30 September 2007. Third-ranked SDL, reporting its results on a calendar year, benefits from the run-up of the pound against the dollar for the balance of 2007, with the dollar quoted at US$2.0018.

 
   
 Six LSPs Open Up Some Daylight between Top- and Mid-Tier Firms
 

The market is organized into several visible tiers, as we pointed out in the Global Watchtower in September 2007 (see Table 2). If we exclude SDL’s technology revenue from its total, it joins a cluster of high-growth rivals in the range of US$100-200 million: SDL, Language Line, STAR, TransPerfect, euroscript, and SDI.

The business press is beginning to pay attention to this sector. Last year Inc. magazine took notice of the language sector, flagging Eriksen Translations (#2,552), Iverson Language Associates (#2,589), New Global Translations (#2,023), The Language Works (#3,478), and Welocalize (#859) among the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., all listed as providers of “Business Services.”

Rank Company HQ Country Revenue in US$M Employees Offices Status

1

L-3 Communications Linguist Operations and Technical Support Division

US

753.00

8,127

8

Public

2

Lionbridge Technologies

US

452.00

4,600

45

Public

3

SDL International

UK

235.01

1,751

39

Public

4

Language Line Holdings

US

183.20

2,378

7

Private

5

STAR Group

CH

161.75

900

42

Private

6

TransPerfect/Translations.com

US

156.00

780

51

Private

7

euroscript International

LU

120.93

1,235

32

Private

8

SDI Media Group

US

119.80

591

25

Private

9

Xerox Global Services

UK

98.90

500

9

Public

10

RWS Group

UK

90.98

379

10

Public

11

CLS Communication

CH

49.22

343

14

Private

12

Logos Group

IT

46.50

150

17

Private

13

Semantix

SE

43.73

150

10

Private

14

Manpower Business Solutions

NL

38.84

150

7

Public

15

Moravia Worldwide

CZ

38.20

406

12

Private

16

LCJ EEIJ

BE/DE
/ES/IT

38.04

282

15

Private

17

Honyaku Centre

JP

36.30

174

4

Public

18

Welocalize

US

33.70

295

8

Private

19

thebigword Group

UK

33.03

195

7

Private

20

Skrivanek Group

CZ

32.40

395

53

Private

21

AAC Global Group

FI

31.66

289

11

Public

22

Hewlett-Packard ACG

FR

23.00

121

9

Public

23

hiSoft Product Engineering Services/ Globalization and Localization BU

CN

22.00

3,100

15

Private

24

VistaTEC

IE

21.79

100

5

Private

25

Amesto Translations Holding

NO

18.75

85

5

Private

Table 2: Top 25 Language Service Providers Worldwide for 2007
Source: Cited Companies and Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

 

 
   
 The Market in Language Services Remains Fragmented
 

In previous lists, we've noted how little of the overall language revenue is earned by the Top 20 (now 25) language service providers. That hasn’t changed, although they cranked the percentage up a few points over last year (see Figure 2).  Beyond that reality, we decided long ago to conflate all language service categories – translation, localization, interpretation, internationalization, supporting technologies, engineering, and even language learning – into a single measurable category. Otherwise, we would have been writing about a variety of very small, even more highly Balkanized segments.

Fig02
Figure 2: Top 25 Aggregate Revenue for 2007 as a Percentage of Total Market Size
in U.S. Dollars
Source: Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

Finally, to determine whether the fragmentation is getting worse or consolidation increasing too much, we apply the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) to gauge industry concentration and competition in the marketplace. The HHI calculates a weighted average market share (which is represented by the sum of the squares of the market shares of each individual firm). The scores range from 0 to 10,000. Low numbers indicate a very large amount of very small firms, while a large number correlates to a single, monopolistic producer. The HHI for the Top 25 companies is 66.34. This means that even if the 10 biggest companies in the industry merged to form a US$2 billion company, it is unlikely that it would be challenged by anti-trust authorities in the United States.

 
   
 Some Companies Are Growing Faster
 

Acquisitions fueled the growth of companies like euroscript and SDL. However, most companies report significant organic growth from the increased demand for their language services. Moravia had warned us last year that when the Microsoft long-march-to-Vista software program ended, it would have a drop in revenues, but that its non-Microsoft business was growing above industry averages.

Rank Company Revenue Growth from 2006 to 2007

1

euroscript International

92.5%

2

thebigword Group

57.6%

3

Xerox Global Services

45.4%

4

Semantix

40.0%

5

TransPerfect/Translations.com

38.3%

6

Skrivanek Group

37.3%

7

SDL International

34.7%

8

SDI Media Group

26.1%

9

RWS Group

23.9%

10

L-3 Communications Linguist Operations and Technical Support Division

21.1%

11

CLS Communication

20.9%

12

Welocalize

19.6%

13

LCJ EEIG

18.6%

14

Language Line Holdings

12.2%

15

Honyaku Centre

11.5%

16

Lionbridge Technologies

7.9%

17

Logos Group

7.3%

18

Hewlett-Packard ACG

4.5%

19

Moravia Worldwide

(12.2%)

20

Merrill Brink International

Data not available

Table 3: Revenue Growth (Reduction) by Company from 2006 to 2007
Source: Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

 

 
   
 The Biggest LSPs Earn the Least Revenue Per Employee
 

Revenue per employee is a measure of how efficiently a particular company is using its employees. In general, rising revenue per employee is a positive sign that suggests the company is finding ways to squeeze more sales out of each of its workers. When we cross-tabbed the number of employees and revenue per employee at the Top 25, we saw that the companies with the most employees – L-3, Lionbridge, and hiSoft – are also the least efficient. These three firms trail in productivity per employee, holding the twenty-second, nineteenth, and twenty-fifth places, respectively (see Table 4).

Across the Top 25, we noticed an increase in efficiency as measured by revenue per employee. In our 2007 ranking, the average revenue per employee for the Top 20 companies was US$102,648.88. In 2007, that number reached US$162,914.48, for an improvement of 58.71 percent.

Ranking by Revenue per Employee Ranking by Number of Employees Company Number of Employees Revenue by Employee in USD

1

20

Logos Group

   150

310,000.00

2

21

Semantix

   150

291,558.33

3

22

Manpower Business Solutions

   150

258,931.63

4

13

RWS Group

   379

240,044.96

5

25

Amesto Translations Holding

85

220,560.36

6

24

VistaTEC

   100

217,947.66

7

19

Honyaku Centre

   174

208,640.80

8

9

SDI Media Group

   591

202,707.28

9

8

TransPerfect/Translations.com

   780

200,000.00

10

10

Xerox Global Services

   500

197,800.00

11

23

Hewlett-Packard ACG

   121

190,082.64

12

7

STAR Group

   900

179,719.24

13

18

thebigword Group

   195

169,383.92

14

14

CLS Communication

   343

143,499.01

15

17

LCJ EEIG

   282

134,886.65

16

5

SDL International

 1,751

134,216.16

17

15

Welocalize

   295

114,237.29

18

16

AAC Global Group

   289

109,564.34

19

2

Lionbridge

 4,600

  98,260.87

20

6

euroscript International

 1,235

  97,916.34

21

11

Moravia Worldwide

   406

  94,088.67

22

1

L-3 Communications

 8,127

  92,654.12

23

12

Skrivanek Group

   395

  82,025.32

24

4

Language Line Holdings

 2,378

  77,039.53

25

3

hiSoft

 3,100

   7,096.77

Average of Top 25 Companies

1,099

162,914.48

Table 4: Top 25 Companies Ranked by Revenue per Employee
Source: Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

 

 
   
 Drivers and Opportunities for Growth in the Language Services Industry
 

What’s ahead for providers of language services? Common Sense Advisory sees an increasing need as companies increase their global exposure and, along with governments, strive to meet the needs of diverse populations at home and abroad.

  • The ailing dollar pushes exports from the U.S.  Some of the biggest American brands – across all industries – have used the retrenchment of the dollar to shield themselves from slumping profit margins. Declines against world currencies make U.S. products look cheaper overseas, and translate into big returns when sales are converted back into dollars.
  • Multiculturalism attracts public funds and marketing dollars.  Societies across the globe are becoming more heterogenous. With the internet and satellite TV, a person can live and work in a country, use its services and infrastructure, and never need to speak the local language. This is the case of Brazilians in Japan, Turks in Germany, Poles in the British Isles, Arabs in Sweden, and Spanish-speakers in the U.S. This trend drives the need for language services in the public sector and big opportunities for multicultural retailing efforts (see “Reaching America’s e-Latinos: Otra Vez” May07).
  • Decoupling of the U.S. economy shifts translation budgets. The world's developing nations are no longer nearly as dependent as they used to be on the United States and other developed nations to keep themselves going. Consumer spending is rising almost three times as fast in developing nations as it is in rich nations. Real capital spending is rising by double digits there, while it's rising only a bit over one percent a year in rich nations. Meanwhile, emerging economies' trade with each other is rising faster than their trade with richer nations. Trade without the inter-language of English intensifies the demand for translations.
  • Exchange rate fluctuations enable language services arbitrage. Savvy buyers are taking advantage of the price differential between markets to reduce their costs. European LSPs are selling services in euros and buying translations in the United States to improve their margins. An unintended consequence is that the location of a translator is no longer a key differentiator. A Swedish translator with knowledge in superconductive ceramics living in Peru is more valuable but cheaper than a generic translator living in Sweden.

 
   
 
 Ranking of Top 25 Translation Companies  
 

By Renato S. Beninatto and Donald A. DePalma
May 2008
ISBN: 978-1-933555-53-9

Copyright © 2008 by Common Sense Advisory, Inc. Lowell,  Massachusetts,  United States of America.

Published by:

Common Sense Advisory, Inc.
100 Merrimack Street
Suite 301
Lowell, MA 01852-1708  USA
+1.978.275.0500
info@commonsenseadvisory.com
www.commonsenseadvisory.com

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without the prior written permission of the Publisher.

Permission requests should be addressed to the Permissions Department, Common Sense Advisory, Inc., 100 Merrimack Street, Suite 301, Lowell, MA 01852-1708, +1.978.275.0500, E-Mail:
info@commonsenseadvisory.com. See www.commonsenseadvisory.com/others/citation_policy.php for usage guidelines.

Trademarks: Common Sense Advisory, Global Watchtower, Global DataSet, DataPoint, Globa Vista, Quick Take, and Technical Take are trademarks of Common Sense Advisory, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Information is based on the best available resources at the time of analysis. Opinions reflect the best judgment of Common Sense Advisory’s analysts at the time, and are subject to change.


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