The AIBEST Annual Industry Report 2021 covers 677 Bulgarian companies engaged in business process sourcing (BPO) and information technology sourcing (ITO). The report preparation took place in September and October 2021.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS The sourcing industry was among the few to grow during the pandemic and boosted its contribution to Bulgaria's real GDP by 6.6% in 2020, or EUR 3.3 bln. Sourcing has traditionally been growing considerably faster than the national economy and by 2024 its size is expected to expand both in terms of value and as a share of the economy, to EUR 6.6 billion and 11.2%, respectively
LABOR MARKET The sourcing industry employed a total of 77,043 full-time employees (FTEs) in 2020. By 2024, the number of employees is expected to exceed 112,000. BPO was again the biggest employer in the industry, accounting for 68.3% of the total FTE number in 2020
SALARIES AND TAXES Sourcing companies further increased their salary expenses in 2020 and accounted for 10.4% of the total salary costs in Bulgaria, up from 9.4% a year ago. The industry's social security contributions followed the trend, accounting for 8.2% of the national total versus 7.4% a year earlier. These shares are expected to expand further by 2024 due to the faster growth of labour expenses in sourcing than the average of the economy. In 2020, the annual salary costs per employee in the sector advanced by 16%, compared with 9.4% for the average gross salary at the national level.
OPERATIONAL INCOMES In 2020, the industry's operating revenue expanded by an annual rate of 11.2%, compared with 22.5% in 2019. The slowdown was a consequence of the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020. Despite this highly uncertain period, sourcing managed to keep its growth rate in the double digits. Forecasts based on the compound annual growth rate in the period 2016-2020 show fast recovery to usual rates and a continuous rise in company numbers and aggregate revenue by 2024
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