September 28, 2005 13:06 ET

Strong Showing by Alberta Companies on Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Show There's Life Beyond the Oil Patch

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 28, 2005) -

CSI Wireless Honoured with the GrowthWorks Leadership Award for Telecom/Wireless Sector

Ten Alberta-based companies were recognized as some of Canada's fastest growing technology companies in the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 50, the annual program which recognizes excellence in Canadian companies through factors such as strong business performance, intellectual property, strength of management and growth rate.

"This year's Fast 50 winners are not only innovators, but also operators who know how to take advantage of opportunities when they arise," said Garry Foster, National Leader with Deloitte's Technology, Media and Telecommunication practice. "This year's ranking features several bigger companies and companies that have excelled at competing on an international basis."

Deloitte has taken a new approach to the Fast 50 program in recognition that as the tech sector in Canada develops, the dynamics are changing. Award categories for sector leadership, sustained excellence and next generation technology overachievers have been established. These awards expand beyond recognizing only financial performance to take into account other business practices such as quality of management, competitiveness, market size and a range of financial performance measures.

CSI Wireless received the GrowthWorks Leadership award recognizing superior business performance judged against the norms in the telecom/wireless sector. Panelists highlighted CSI's diversified solutions such as GPS, telematics and fixed-wireless systems that meet the needs of emerging markets and offer substantial future growth potential for the company on a global basis. CSI is also a multiple-time Fast 50 company, ranking number 48 this year with revenue growth of 207%.

"This GrowthWorks Leadership award provides an endorsement of the underlying value of CSI Wireless that observers might overlook if they focus exclusively on companies' financial performance," said Stephen Verhoeff, CSI's President and CEO. "Deloitte and its practitioners recognize the underlying value of our products, our technology, our strategies, our people and our markets. We applaud Deloitte for taking the time to examine the 'big picture' and recognizing CSI as a truly exceptional company -- one of Canada's global Telecom/Wireless leaders."

Half of the Alberta companies on the Fast 50 specialize in software development. These include Chartwell Technology, which develops software systems for online gaming, (ranked 16, revenue growth of 1015%); ARIA Solutions (ranked 39, 241%), which specializes in systems and consulting for customer contact centres; Zi Corporation (ranked 43, 233%), which develops various programs to enhance the usability of mobile phones and other devices, and Replicon, a leading manufacturer of time sheet software (ranked 45, 229%). Edmonton-based Matrikon, coming in at number 49 with revenue growth of 185%, rounded out the group of software companies. Matrikon develops software systems to help industrial companies make effective use of their manufacturing plants.

Other Alberta companies on this year's Fast 50 ranking include Imaging Dynamics, a life sciences company that was number 10 in terms of revenue growth (2173%). Imaging Dynamics develops digital radiography technology used for medical diagnosis.

Two Calgary companies with unique emerging technologies, zed.i solutions Inc. (ranked 27, revenue growth of 387%) and Dynetek (ranked 30, revenue growth of 341%), were the other local companies to place on the Fast 50. Both companies have specialized products that support Alberta's oil and gas industry. zed.i solutions' technology is the world's only digital wireless end-to-end well monitoring system for natural gas wells. Dynetek's focus is on developing the lightest possible cylinders and systems for fuel storage. Its storage systems are in use in 20 countries worldwide.

Other Fast 50 Key Findings:

R&D Investments increased: Over the past year, the average R&D investment of Fast 50 recipients almost doubled to $9.2 million per company, up from $5.3 million the previous year.

Fastest of the Fast: St. John's-based Rutter Inc., which develops voyage data recorders and marine-certified electronic interface technologies made history this year as the first Fast 50 company to own the top rank with the highest revenue growth (29,630%) for two years in a row. Following Rutter are Toronto-based Workbrain, Inc. (2nd place) and Vancouver-based Cardiome Pharma Corp. (ranked third) with 11,768.48% and 11,531.28% five year revenue growth rates respectively.

Regional Breakdown: Ontario continues to be the largest tech hub with 19 recipients on the Fast 50, followed by British Columbia which fielded 12 companies, Alberta with 10 and the province of Quebec with seven finalists. Manitoba and Newfoundland made the ranking with one winner each. The regional breakdown reflects the important role of Canada's tech clusters in supporting the establishment and growth of tech companies. In each region the presence of national and multi-national companies, as well as leading research and academic centres in these provinces acts as an incubator that attracts and nourishes tech companies.

Repeat Winners: Fifty-two per cent of this year's winners have been recognized on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 rank for two consecutive years or more with 32% boasting multiple appearances - proving their ability to sustain growth over longer periods.

About Deloitte

Deloitte, Canada's leading professional services firm, provides audit, tax, financial advisory services and consulting through more than 6,100 people in more than 47 offices. Deloitte & Touche LLP operates in Quebec as Samson Belair/Deloitte & Touche s.e.n.c.r.l. The firm is dedicated to helping its clients and its people excel. Deloitte is the only professional services firm to be named to the Globe and Mail's Report on Business Magazine annual ranking of Canada's top employers for two consecutive years: 35 Best Companies to Work for in Canada in 2001 and 50 Best Companies to Work for in Canada in 2002. "Deloitte" refers to Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities. Deloitte is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is a Swiss Verein (association), and, as such, neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other's acts or omissions. Each of the member firms is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the name "Deloitte," "Deloitte & Touche," "Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu" or other related names. The services described herein are provided by the Canadian member firm and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein.

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