Bentley Annual Report

About this Issue….

Welcome to AECWeekly! I just recently received Bentley Systems' Annual Report, published in June 2005. Bentley is a privately held company that had considered going public some years ago, but did not do so because the business climate at that time was not in its favor. Launched in 1984, today the company employs more than 1,800 people in 75 offices in 38 countries.

Financial highlights of this report focus on financial performance during 2004. Read about it in this week's Industry News.

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Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News
Bentley Annual Report
By Susan Smith

I just recently received Bentley Systems' Annual Report, published in June 2005. Bentley is a privately held company that had considered going public some years ago, but did not do so because the business climate at that time was not in its favor. Launched in 1984, today the company employs more than 1,800 people in 75 offices in 38 countries.

Financial highlights of this report focus on financial performance during 2004. Borrowing from the report as follows:

  • The company surpassed the milestone of $300 million in revenues, an increase of almost 17 percent over 2003.
  • Nearly 2/3 of revenues are from software subscriptions.
  • After adjusting for exchange rates and for acquisitions made in 2004, the company's organic growth was above 8 percent.
  • The company's operating margins improved to record levels during 2004
  • Operating cash flow was nearly $45 million.
  • The company maintains a solid balance sheet, with stockholders' equity of about $100 million, negligible debt, and its $75 million bank credit line fully available for continued growth and acquisitions.

A couple of milestones are stated in a very interesting way: Daratech named Bentley “the leader in overall sales of plant creation software.”

According to the press release from market researcher Daratech, Inc. at DaratechPLANT2005, "Bentley's record 2004 revenue of more than $300 million and recurring revenue of more than $200 million place the company as the leading vendor in 14 Daratech plant software market categories, including: overall software sales and recurring revenue for plant creation; software and services sales of plant-specific platforms; software and services sales to owner-operators for plant creation (with revenue in this category greater than the total of the three closest vendors); and software sales and recurring software revenue for conceptual plant creation."

CEO Greg Bentley summed up 2004 as a banner year for Bentley in the plant market, pointing to the company's 14 first-place rankings in Daratech's plant market reports, the success of Bentley's DigitalPlant solution, strong growth in enterprise subscriptions, and four strategic acquisitions in the plant market: eWarehouse from ESSI, the AXSYS process engineering products from AspenTech, Haestad Methods and its water modeling products, and IFS software products.

Another milestone: Engineering News-Record named top infrastructure design firms for 2004, and among those listed, 81 percent were Bentley subscribers, and “collectively they perform more than 90 percent of the design work of all of the top firms.” It is suggested that their spending with Bentley has grown steadily to support the idea that they are getting a good return on investment.

The company continues to acquire companies that will complement its product line. In addition to the aforementioned plant and process companies, in 2004 Bentley acquired ISIS, for e-government solutions for public works and land records management, primarily focused on countries in the Benelux region; Reoforce are Bentley Rebar products used for planning and detailing of concrete reinforcement.

Optram, producer of the ORIM Corridor Asset Management System and Nextwave, which integrates AEC information with SAP software, were acquired in early 2005.

The North American Operating Unit reports that building information modeling (BIM) is growing as customers become more interested in managing all information about a building throughout its entire lifecycle.

Bentley Civil software is used heavily in state departments of transportation. The SAFETEA Bill passed by Congress allocated $286.5 billion for infrastructure projects through 2009, which Bentley will likely be involved in.

In the geospatial arena, the report states that “growth is being driven by improvement of infrastructure for transmission and distribution.” Some growth is being seen in communications, as well as local government and public works agencies. As is seen in other areas of geospatial, the federal government is increasing its spending in infrastructure improvements as they relate to disaster response and recovery, homeland security and defense.

Bentley's International Operating Unit accounted for more than half the company's total revenues in 2004. New offices were opened in Buenos Aires, Moscow, Colombia, Portugal, Rome, and the Middle East. The company acquired Moss Italia, Globepoint in Scandinavia, and the plant engineering business of the Swedish ERP software vendor IFS.

Bentley Asia, or Bentley's Asia Operating Unit, was established in early 2005 and is probably the fastest growing unit as it serves the largest population in the fastest growing part of the world. Sixteen companies from Asia were nominated for 2005 BE Awards of Excellence.

The remainder of the report outlines Bentley Software, which has been covered before in this publication, as well as sections on Bentley Professional Services, Subscription program and Bentley Institute.


COADE announced that CETIM, a major provider of technology and research for mechanical engineering in Europe, has signed with FERN Computer Consultancy LTD UK to be a reseller for COADE's CAD and CAE software products. FERN has been a leading COADE distributor/dealer in Europe for 12 years. In this new arrangement, CETIM will be a reseller of COADE's CADWorx suite for process plant design as well as CAESAR II, the world's most widely used pipe stress analysis software; PVElite and CodeCalc, pressure vessel and component design and analysis software programs; and TANK, comprehensive engineering software for designing and analyzing oil storage tanks. Initially, five CETIM commercial engineers will be involved in selling these software products.

Epicor Software Corporation, provider of enterprise software solutions, announced that it has completed the acquisition of privately held CRS Retail Systems based in Newburgh, NY, in an all cash transaction for approximately $121 million. Epicor will finance the transaction utilizing existing credit facilities and cash-on-hand. CRS was purchased from Accel- KKR, a technology focused private investment firm.

Focal Press, an imprint of Elsevier and a leading media technology publisher, has entered into a partnership with Autodesk Media and Entertainment division to publish and create training resources and materials. Titles published under this co-branding program will offer unique authority on the related subjects backed by the expertise of the Autodesk development and support teams. Focal Press will now be able to provide the best books for users of the industry-leading 3D and animation software under the Autodesk Media and Entertainment division.


Microdesk, Inc., an Autodesk Premier Solutions Provider (PSP) and consultant for CAD solutions to Architectural Design, Civil Engineering, and Spatial Management companies, announced that four of the firm's Applications Engineers have passed the rigorous Autodesk Architectural 2006 Desktop Certified Expert Exam.

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