BPO industry grew 30% on 1st year of global crisis

Published by rudy Date posted on April 29, 2011

THE information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) services had provided support to the economy, despite the challenges posed by the nascent stages of global recovery in 2009, the Philippine central bank said.

A survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that the IT-BPO service industry’s total revenues in 2009 reached $8.3 billion, or 30.6 percent higher than the $6.3 billion reported in 2008.

“While the growth rate recorded in 2009 may be a slowdown from those of previous years, it is still robust compared with that of other industries in the country,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a statement.

He noted that all IT-BPO sub-sectors—contact center, transcription, animation, software development and other BPOs—posted double-digit growth rates in 2009.

Contact centers, which accounted for 50.9 percent of the industry’s total receipts, were the main driver, contributing two-thirds of growth.

Transcription and animation services also posted growth amid the expansion of companies and the production of more local animation films in the country.

The survey also showed that IT-BPO exports increased by 45.9 percent to reach $7.7 billion in 2009 from the $5.3 billion recorded in 2008. Export earnings comprised 93.4 percent of total industry revenues, an increase from the previous year’s 83.6 percent export-to-revenue ratio.

Except for the animation sub-sector, all other sub-sectors recorded higher export-to-revenue ratios, with the highest at 96.1 percent for transcription, the central bank said.

At end-2009, equity investments in the industry grew by 32.2 percent to $2.6 billion, of which 91.8 percent represented foreign equity.

“The growth in equity investments slowed down, however, compared to 2008. Cautious investor sentiment due to uncertainties regarding the pace and breadth of global recovery in 2009 could have contributed to the slower growth,” Tetangco said.

Employment in the IT-BPO industry totaled 444,811 in 2009, representing a 25.3-percent growth from 2008, with contact centers as the top employer, absorbing more than half of the industry’s employment.

Total compensation paid by the industry amounted to $3.4 billion in 2009, up by 23.8 percent from the $2.8 billion recorded in 2008.

Annual average compensation per employee however dropped by 1.2 percent to $7,686 in 2009 from $7,778 in 2008.

The survey coverage was expanded to 736 IT-BPO companies in 2009 from 648 in 2008. Survey results were based on an overall response rate of 60.5 percent, the BSP said. –LAILANY P. GOMEZ, Manila Times

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