Macromedia has defied the IT slump thanks to its research and development (R&D) spend, says company CEO Rob Burgess.

"We see a period of growth now again as the second generation of the Internet takes hold," Burgess said.

He added: "Up until now, most of our brands have been for technical people who did all the publishing for the Web. But we've been spending 25 to 30 per cent on R&D, the result of which you're starting to see come out now in not only our core products, but also with new products."

These new products are targeted at the non-technical market, an area Burgess believes contains 48 million potential customers.

Burgess revealed that Studio MX 2004 – a product suite containing Studio, Dreamweaver, Flash, Flash Professional and Fireworks – is already on track to expand Macromedia's customer base from three million designers to “six or seven million”.

Burgess also predicts the mobile market will offer opportunity for growth: “Once you get into mobile it gets even bigger. DoCoMo is already shipping Flash Player in their i-mode phones, as is Sony/Ericcson, Mitsubishi and others. In the three months Flash Player has been available they have shipped three million phones.”

“I’d like to make a number of acquisitions over the next year in the mobile space, and in the information convenience space. I'm hopeful we can add to our solution set over the next year," he told the San Francisco Business Times.