Canada’s telecommunications giants continued to lead the country’s IT sector in what turned out to be another record-setting year for the industry, with Bell Canada owner BCE Inc., Telus Corp., Rogers Communications Inc., and Shaw Communications Inc. all among 2015’s top-earning Canadian ICT companies, according to a new list released this week by Ottawa-based technology consulting firm Branham Group Inc.

Altogether, the top 250 Canadian tech companies earned revenues of $96.1 billion in 2015, a year-over-year increase of 5.7 per cent over 2014, when the sector earned $90.9 billion (itself a record, 6.8 per cent higher than 2013).

“That is a remarkable total,” Branham researchers wrote in a report analyzing the results of its study, which was released on April 20. “This is the sixth consecutive year the Top 250 recorded growth and set record revenues.”

ICT-revenue-2005-2015

It’s the twenty-third year in a row that Branham has produced its annual list of Canada’s top public and private ICT companies, dividing its results into three main listings: the top 250 Canadian ICT companies, which are ranked based on revenue; the top 25 ICT multinationals operating in Canada, also ranked by revenue; and the top 25 “up and coming” ICT companies, which are chosen based on “creativity and innovation.”

According to Branham, the top 10 Canadian ICT companies of 2015 were:

  1. Verdun, Quebec-based BCE Inc., with approximately $14 billion in revenue;
  2. Vancouver, B.C.-based Telus, with approximately $10.1 billion in revenue;
  3. Montreal, Quebec-based consulting firm CGI Group, with approximately $10.3 billion in revenue;
  4. Toronto, Ontario-based Rogers, with approximately $9 billion in revenue;
  5. Toronto, Ontario-based Celestica, with approximately $7.2 billion in revenue;
  6. Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry, with approximately $4.3 billion in revenue;
  7. Calgary, Alberta-based Shaw, with approximately $3.4 billion in revenue;
  8. Waterloo, Ontario-based enterprise services firm OpenText, with approximately $2.4 billion in revenue;
  9. Toronto, Ontario-based software solution firm Constellation Software, with approximately $2.35 billion in revenue;
  10. Saint-Laurent, Quebec-based technology-driven training firm CAE, with approximately $2.5 billion in revenue.

Bell, which overtook BlackBerry as the top ICT Canadian ICT firm in 2014, maintained its position for the second year in a row. The company’s growth rate was substantial as well: in 2014, its revenue grew five per cent, but in 2015 grew by 15 per cent.

Branham’s researchers noted that Bell’s achievement was especially impressive considering the company’s market: “It faces strong competitors and operates in an established business, selling products and services that are tough to differentiate,” they wrote.

Meanwhile BlackBerry, which has had greater luck in software services than with its handset division recently – leading its CEO to openly consider leaving the market entirely – saw its revenue drop from $8.7 billion in 2014 to $4.3 billion in 2015.

The top 25 multinationals were also led by familiar names, with the Canadian divisions of IBM Corp., Google Inc., HP Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., and Microsoft Corp. at the head of the pack.

It should be noted that in addition to analyzing the revenues of individual businesses, Branham divided the top 250 Canadian ICT companies into other lists, including one by region and several by sector.

The majority of Canadian ICT activity takes place in four provinces, the organization found, with all but eight of Canada’s top 250 ICT companies located in either Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, or Alberta, and the four provinces collectively representing 98 per cent of revenues earned by the top 250.

top-250-companies-by-province

The top 25 up and comers reflected this trend, with 19 of them, including Wealthsimple and AlayaCare, hailing from Ontario, three from B.C., two from Quebec, and one (landlord-tenant matchmaker Zora) from Halifax.

Sector-wise, the top 250 were dominated by four categories: software, which comprised 37 per cent of Canada’s top 250 ICT companies and accounted for 18.5 per cent of their revenue; X service providers (such as Internet service providers and application service providers), which generated 45 per cent of the top 250’s total revenue despite representing only nine per cent of them; ICT professional services, which represented 37 per cent of the top 250 companies and 21.5 per cent of their revenue; and ICT hardware and infrastructure, which Branham did not provide revenue numbers or percentages for.

You can check out Branham’s 2015 list of Canada’s top ICT companies here, its list of 2015’s top 25 multinationals here, and its list of 2015’s top 25 up and comers here.

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