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Bentley Systems Reports 10% Growth for 2011

15 Mar, 2012 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

Rebounding AEC market and heavy infrastructure investments in China contribute to $523 million total revenue.


Bentley Systems last week hosted its Annual Corporate Update conference call for members of the media. The privately held company introduced the idea last year, in an effort to be more open about its financial standing. Greg Bentley, CEO and brother of the four Bentleys who founded the company in 1991, led attendees through a 2011 financial report and a general look at the infrastructure market. (Editor's note: On April 14, 2012, Bentley Systems released a digital version of its 2011 Annual Report.)

Based in Exton, Pennsylvania, Bentley Systems describes itself as the world's largest developer of software for infrastructure — that is, "everything that is built to improve our planet," Bentley said. It has a foothold in the AEC, civil engineering, and geospatial technology markets. In terms of market share, Bentley said, the company is "a very strong No. 2 behind Autodesk," which has similar product offerings in these markets in addition to the manufacturing, media and entertainment, and now consumer technology markets.

In 2011, the company had $523 million in revenue, Bentley reported, or 10% growth over 2010. Its software is in use in 50 countries, with the hottest geographic region being Asia (accounting for 19% of total revenue), and China in particular, where infrastructure spending is heavy. Revenue from China had been doubling every two years but is tripling every two years as of 2011, Bentley said, and that country is poised to become Bentley Systems' largest market.

With all its business in the infrastructure market, Bentley Systems was hard-hit by the economic recession. However, Bentley said, "Our resilient subscription revenue has helped us recover from the economic downturn faster than our competitors. … For Bentley Systems overall, the economic recovery will continue."

Indeed, the Bentley Select program, which delivers a stream of software usage data to the company, has shown that software use over the past six months in the AEC market is steadily increasing and has reached prerecession levels. Use of civil engineering and geospatial products remains stagnant. Business is slowest where projects are publicly funded.

For 2012, Bentley Systems is forecasting a conservative 6% growth, or what CEO Bentley describes as "the new normal."

Bentley Systems also announced that it has acquired the elcoSystem software business of Hannappel Software, based in Wiesbaden, Germany. The elcoSystem line of software for electrical engineering is already a fundamental component of Bentley Systems' Raceway and Cable Management and Building Electrical Systems offerings under a distribution agreement with Hannappel. Through the acquisition, Bentley extends its support of electrical engineering workflows across a wider range of applications. The elcoSystem products are designed to serve the demanding needs of buildings, campuses, factories, communications, process manufacturing, rail and transit, and utilities, and are widely used by commercial, domestic, and electrical contracting companies, along with large engineering and AECO firms.

Bentley Raceway and Cable Management V8i integrates functional design with detailed physical design and includes a range of 2D and 3D design tools. The software provides early and accurate material requirements via automated intelligent functions and highly realistic 3D design simulation, and is designed to increase safety in construction and enhance operations management through a comprehensive as-operated model across constant retrofits.

Bentley Systems' Be Together 2012 user conference is scheduled for May 15–17, 2012, in Philadelphia. Its Be Inspired Thought Leadership in Infrastructure customer awards event will take place November 13–14, 2012, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The call for project submissions is open until August 3.


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