Foster announces investment by software company

Trade Minister Arlene Foster has announced a major investment, by Philips Healthcare Informatics, which will deliver over £1million annually in additional wages and salaries.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered £420,000 of support towards the expansion which will help the company to take advantage of business in the US and Europe for its core products. This new investment will create 30 new graduate level jobs bringing employment to 49.

The announcement follows the Minister’s recent visit to the parent company, Royal Philips Electronics Group, in Holland during an Invest NI trade mission in February.

Announcing the investment the Minister said: “This expansion project demonstrates the confidence that this blue-chip multinational group has in its Belfast operation and in the local skills base. ICT is a key growth sector for Northern Ireland and the availability of highly skilled IT professionals here has attracted many high profile companies that continue to reinvest.

“The creation of these high value specialist jobs shows that, even in an economic downturn, businesses that are focused on innovation and niche product development can continue to grow.”

Philips Healthcare Informatics’ core product is its Cardiovascular Information System (CVIS), a computerised system that manages a hospital’s clinical and administrative records for heart patients. Used by a significant number of large hospitals, including St Thomas’ Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, the system has long been the market leader in the UK and Ireland, and is now being sold in international markets.

Stephen Gunning, General Manager of Philips Healthcare Informatics in Belfast, said: “We have achieved sales growth of around 30% a year over the last five years and anticipate further substantial growth in the next few years as we export our products to new international markets through the extensive Philips distribution channels.

“Despite being a small operation within the Royal Philips Electronics Group, we have much to offer in terms of R&D expertise and the development of niche IT products. This investment recognises the significant potential of the Belfast operation to further develop its contribution to the Group’s overall success.”

Philips Healthcare Informatics has had a presence in Northern Ireland since it acquired Belfast software company, Tomcat Clinical Systems, in April 2008.