I am very pleased with the recent announcement that the European Investment Bank, the European Union’s long-term financing institution, has granted us a second loan of €150 million to finance research and development activities in our distribution business line between 2013 and 2015.
This loan is in addition to a previous €200 million loan received last year, which was made available to finance the R&D of a variety of projects in our IT Solutions business line between 2012 and 2014.
Continued investment in innovative travel technology solutions is central to the Amadeus ethos, with approximately €2.4 billion invested in R&D between 2004 and 2012 and €414 million invested in 2012 alone, representing 14.2% of revenues.
Our position as a leader in R&D was again confirmed late in 2012 when the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard ranked us as the leading company in the area of travel and tourism by investment in R&D. Amadeus has sixteen R&D centres globally, currently housing over 4,500 people, and many of these are located in Europe, including the central R&D centre in Nice, plus London, Antwerp, Aachen, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, and Warsaw.
Recently Amadeus further underlined its commitment to R&D by taking the decision to join the prestigious French association of software editors AFDEL. With 80 members AFDEL aims to represent the whole industry from large companies to SMEs and is a hub of innovation which fosters knowledge sharing and engenders new ways of thinking. We are proud to become members of AFDEL and look forward to participating fully in the association in the coming years. For more information please visit the AFDEL website.