Lingo24 returns to profit and heads for record £10m revenue

'Our business has changed beyond recognition,' said Lingo24 founder Christian Arno. Picture: Contributed
'Our business has changed beyond recognition,' said Lingo24 founder Christian Arno. Picture: Contributed
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An Edinburgh-based translation company has returned to profit and is on track to hit a record £10 million in revenue.

Tech-enabled translation provider Lingo24 saw revenue growth of 23 per cent to £5.14m in the half-year to 30 June, and is on track to pull in more than £10m in annual revenue for the first time.

The company also saw its first return to profit since raising millions of pounds in external investment in 2014.

Lingo24 said a broader client offering was the key to its success, as it provides strategic consultancy, proprietary technology and translation services.

It revealed that 73 per cent of its revenue now comes from the company’s top 30 accounts, a significant increase from 53 per cent in 2015, and its net retained business increased to 108 per cent in the first half of the year.

Lingo24 clients include BrewDog, Hunter Boots and Adidas.

Founder Christian Arno said: “Our business has changed beyond recognition and the focus on building long-lasting strategic relationships with our clients is clear in these numbers.

“As the world’s most globally minded companies reap the benefits of the latest translation technology, they tend to invest in making more content more global.

“As technology speeds time to market and reduces the total cost of translation, so we see the demand for senior level engagement with a tech-savvy translation partner increase too.”

Arno said new business wins in B2B e-commerce, additional content required due to the introduction of GDPR regulations, and the football World Cup all contributed to demand in the first half.

The company automates as much of the end-to-end translation process as it can, but still uses professional translators in initial translation and checking for quality.

Arno highlighted the firm’s progress in file engineering technology as contributing to the financial performance.

He said: “In an ideal world, all content for translation would be transferred to us in a structured format via API.

“But the future is not evenly distributed, and so we offer file engineering to help our clients access our translation technology irrespective of file format.

“Our technology team have improved the number of items where we can fully automate this process from 43 per cent in quarter one to 91 per cent in quarter two. This makes our service markedly more scalable,” he added.

Now headquartered in the Scottish capital, Arno initially founded Lingo24 in Aberdeen in 2001. The business has since grown to employ more than 170 people across the globe.

It announced the opening of its Amsterdam office in October last year, and it has additional offices in London, Romania, Panama and the Philippines.

The capital firm had previously expected to break the £10m revenue barrier in 2017.