Dassault Systemes: China growth no virtual reality

Software group Dassault Systemes proposed a 9 percent increase in its annual dividend for 2015 on Thursday and reaffirmed its 2016 financial targets after first quarter revenue came in at the upper end of its guidance.

"We had nice growth in China, very nice growth, double-digit growth," CEO Bernard Charles told CNBC. "So it's a good sign that the digitalization of the industry...is accelerating."

First-quarter revenue came in at 693.5 million euros ($783.5 million). The group had guided for revenue between 685 million and 695 million euros.

The group, which counts Tesla among its customers, showcased new technology at the CES consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas earlier this year which will allow consumers to visualize ideas for home decor in 3D. "They will be able to live through the experience before they buy the product," Charles said.

He said the group's strategy so far had been to create a world in which you can visualize a plane or a car, a satellite or a ship digitally, but increasingly it will become about sales and marketing.

"It's about creating this experience before you buy the product," he said.

While virtual reality immerses the user in a virtual world, such as a video game or flight simulation, "augmented reality is about you in your living environment, adding things you don't have," Charles said.

The group's biggest challenge, given the transformation in the industry, was how to help clients through it, he said. The transformation from a product- to an experience-driven economy was ongoing, he said, adding that it was the only option for Europe, pointing out that "China is going to do it".