including 247 in France and 13 in Spain. Consisting mainly of trained engineers, they span a wide array of specialties across a broad spectrum from software development and Internet services through electronics, mechanical engineering, as well as expert knowledge of the Group’s customers’ businesses. The Group also has recourse to specialized subcontractors, accounting for a small proportion of its total R&D spending. In addition, the Group is investing in advanced research and studies, drawing on areas of excellence across an array of laboratories, universities, schools, competitiveness clusters and technology centers. Partnership contracts with various actors are now in progress, accelerating and reinforcing the company’s innovative capabilities. All R&D expenditures are fully expensed in the year and booked in ﬁxed overhead costs. Before deduction of the (French) research tax credit and, since 2013, the portion of the competitiveness and employment tax credit applicable in France, these expenditures totaled €21.7 million in 2014, or 10.2% of revenues (€19.1 million and 9.4% in 2013). Net R&D expense, after deducting the subsidies and tax credits, amounted to €13.5 million (€12.5 million in 2013). These substantial investments (a total of more than €180 million in the aggregate over the past ten years, reﬂecting a technology asset valued at zero in the statement of ﬁnancial position) have enabled the company to maintain and even strengthen its technology lead over its competitors.
Share Cancelations The company is not authorized to cancel shares. Transactions by the company on its own account The company is not authorized to make any transactions to purchase and sell company shares on its own account. Liquidity Agreement Since May 21, 2012, Lectra has contracted with Exane BNP Paribas to act as liquidity provider under a Liquidity Agreement, signed in accordance with the Charter of Ethics of the Association française des marchés ﬁnanciers (AMAFI) recognized by the AMF. Under this Liquidity Agreement, from January 1 to December 31, 2014, the company purchased 302,206 shares and sold 297,682 shares at an average price of €7.95 and €8.07 respectively. Consequently, at December 31, 2014, the company held 14,932 Lectra shares (or 0.05% of share capital), at a par value of €1.00, with an average purchase price of €8.91, entirely under the Liquidity Agreement, together with €0.3 million in cash and cash equivalents. Additionally, Lectra may increase the resources allocated, if necessary, by contributing up to €1 million, with a maximum corresponding to the market value of 150,000 Lectra shares. Renewal of the Share Buyback Program The Board of Directors has proposed to the General Meeting of Shareholders of April 30, 2015, to renew the share buyback program pursuant to article L. 225-209 of the French Commercial Code, for a period of eighteen months from the date of the said Meeting. As in the case of previous programs, the new program’s objective is conﬁned to maintaining a liquid market in Lectra shares. The program will be carried out by an investment services provider acting under a liquidity agreement compliant with the Charter of Ethics established by the AFEI or any other code of conduct approved by the AMF. The company will act in conformity with the requirements of French law with regard to the maintenance of sufﬁcient retained earnings and the elimination of voting rights attached to treasury shares.
10. AUTHORIZATION OF A NEW BUY BACK PROGRAM