ASK is one of Europe’s 500 fastest growing companies

ASK is one of Europe’s 500 fastest growing companies

Outstanding employment growth earns ASK 259th place on 2004 Europe’s 500 Listing

Sophia-Antipolis, France, November 29, 2004–ASK the leading supplier of contactless & RFID products today announced that it has been listed No. 259 amongst the fastest growing European companies included in the 2004 Europe’s 500, an annual listing endorsed by 3i, Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers and published by Europe’s Entrepreneurs for Growth.

This year’s five hundred dynamic, entrepreneurial-driven companies who qualified for Europe’s 500 have managed to sustain growth since the year 2000, boosting employment and sales at an impressive average annual rate of 15%. Despite the challenging business environment, these champions of growth have created more than 120,000 jobs across Europe. They have continued to drive employment creating an average of 81 new jobs per year, more than one new job per week per year during three of the most difficult economic years in the last half decade. ASK has increased employment by 25% and added 76 new jobs over the last 5 years.

“We are delighted to have made the Europe’s 500 list, a consequence of our large investments in an innovative technology and manufacturing process,” said Xavier Bon, Executive VP at ASK.”

Europe’s 500 shows that growth is not industry specific but is driven by talented, innovative, risk-taking entrepreneurs. The highest number of champions of growth in the 2004 Europe’s 500 are found within manufacturing (industrial goods) and industrial services sector, 30% of the five hundred companies, followed by IT services (15%) and management services (10%).

“Given the economic environment of the last few years, ASK’s continued growth is a real achievement. Europe needs to stimulate employment through more fast growing companies like ASK; we believe that these champions of growth should be recognised as role models,” said Philippe Leonard of Europe’s 500.

The Europe’s 500 listing identifies rapidly growing European companies for their employment creation and rapid growth. ASK will be officially recognized and honoured for its remarkable business achievements and growth in employment at the Europe’s 500 Awards Dinner on 7 December in Paris.

About ASK:

Founded in 1997, ASK is today the leading supplier of a comprehensive range of contactless cards, tickets, RFID tags and readers, complying with ISO and EPC standards. They address the mass transit, access control and e-government ID markets as well as the supply chain and logistics market. 50 million RFID cards, tickets and labels are already in use worldwide. Manufacturing is located in Sophia-Antipolis, France. Local offices are based in Paris, Singapore, Taiwan and Westport, USA.