Bitkom says German IT companies continue to have trouble filling vacancies (Photo: Bitkom)

Three-quarter of Germany's IT and telecommunications companies expect higher sales in the first half of 2013, while 14 pc expect stable revenues, according to a survey by Germany's high-tech association, Bitkom.

About 11 pc see business declining in the first half.

"The Bitkom sector was and is an engine of growth for Germany," said Bitkom president Dieter Kempf. "The sector will clearly grow faster than the overall economy."

Software companies were particularly optimistic, with 87 pc projecting higher sales. At the same time, 82 pc of IT service providers foresee higher revenues.

Service providers benefit from the continuing boom in smartphone and tablet sales, which is pushing up demand for mobile solutions and more cloud computing, Bitkom noted.

The German IT industry is also optimistic about the outlook for all of 2013, with 78 pc of companies polled expecting higher revenues. Only 7 pc project a decline in sales. Moreover, 57 pc of all companies plan to add staff this year and only 9 pc say they may implement layoffs.

Bitkom said a dearth of skilled job applicants continues to be the biggest problem facing the IT industry in Germany. One out of every two companies said they are hurt by problems they are having filling vacancies.