Deloitte identifies fastest-growing technology companies in the UK and Ireland


December 9, 2003.

.. The results of this year's search for the fastest-growing British and Irish technology companies were announced today by Deloitte, the professional services firm.

Cambridge-based Active Hotels topped this year's national ranking, with a growth rate of 4289%. The company provides an online reservation service to the UK hotel industry and its global customers are independent and group-based hoteliers, travel agents as well as its network of distribution partners.

Behind Active Hotels were Irish semiconductor company Xsil (3064%), Solihull-based Jumar Solutions Europe (2663%), and telecoms company Network Partners Limited (2543%).

Deloitte created the Technology Fast 50 programme six years ago to champion innovation and business performance in the technology sector. The Fast 50 tracks the growth rates of technology companies in the East, Midlands, South West & Wales, Scotland, the North and Ireland, culminating in today's national ranking.

'ActiveHotels has clearly identified the online travel industry as a vital niche market within the rapidly growing internet economy and we commend its continued success and innovation in adverse economic conditions. This year's finalists have rallied successfully year on year, evidenced by half of this year's finalists returning as previous winners,' said William Touche, Chairman of Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 Programme.

'Software companies comprised half of this year's ranking, although we are seeing a steady increase in telecoms companies year on year,' said William Touche. 'We are intrigued to see that companies based in Ireland and the Eastern and Wales and South West regions showed the highest growth rate this year, compared with last year's strong London & South East performance.'

'Entrepreneurship and innovation are the key enablers of a knowledge driven economy. The companies awarded through Deloitte's Fast 50 programme are exemplary examples of organisations rich in both qualities, and are proof that UK businesses are leading the way in terms of the UK's long term growth and wealth creation,' said John Higgins, Director General of Intellect, the trade association for the information technology, telecommunications and electronics industries in the UK.

Tracey Pierce, the London Stock Exchange's Head of Company Services in the UK and Ireland, said: 'Congratulations to Active Hotels and all the other companies that qualified for Deloitte's Fast 50 programme.

'I'm pleased to see that a number of tonight's finalists are returning winners - this suggests that initiatives such as the Fast 50 programme and the Exchange's techMARK market are helping fast-growing technology companies benchmark themselves against their peers and gain recognition from technology investors.'

The complete National 2003 Fast 50 list can be found at

About the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Programme

The programme consists of a series of regional programmes covering the East, London & South East, Midlands, South West & South Wales, the North and Scotland and Ireland. Each region will host an awards ceremony to honour the 50 fastest growing technology companies in their areas in October and November. Following the regional programmes, Deloitte will publish a national ranking of the UK's Technology Fast 50 companies.

Eligibility criteria for the Technology Fast 50

  • In business for a minimum of 3 years

  • Considered a technology company defined as:

    producing technology

    manufacturing technology-related products

    technologically intensive or uses unique technology in problem-solving

    devoting a high percentage of effort to research and development of technology

  • Parent company must be UK owned and headquartered in a participating region (subsidiaries do not qualify)

  • Turnover must be over Euro 50,000 in 2000

    The Technology Fast 50 programme was originally started in San Jose, the centre of Silicon Valley, California in 1995 and has expanded across the globe in the last six years. Both the regional Technology Fast 50 and the national Technology Fast 500 were created to recognise the outstanding contribution of fast growing technology companies to the US economy.

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    SCC is the IT services brand of Europe's largest privately owned technology group and a market leader in providing bespoke IT services and infrastructure solutions for customer's business requirements. The group works with major European enterprise and government organisations to reduce costs and improve performance at every stage of IT infrastructure investment. Over 5,000 skilled people directly manage IT service solutions across a pan-European network of 65 key locations and provide a point of entry for global IT service delivery. The group is the UK's fourth largest private company with a turnover of 3 billion Euros and 28 years of financial stability.

    Intellect is the trade association for the information technology, telecommunications and electronics industries in the UK representing 1000 organisations spanning blue-chip multinationals to early stage technology companies. Intellect is committed to improving the environment in which our members do business, promoting their interests and providing them with high value services.

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    The Deloitte Cambridge office comprises 8 Partners and over 250 staff who deliver a full range of professional services to the East Anglian region. As well as focussing on the life sciences and technology sectors for which the region has become so renowned, the office has long standing specialisms in other sectors including the professions, consumer business, food and agribusiness.

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