A North East company that offers bespoke online testing software is forecasting 90% growth this year after breaking into a lucrative new market.
The Test Factory, based at the Evolve building in Sunderland, has worked with blue-chip clients such as Microsoft, HSBC and the BBC.
Over the past year, however, it has secured a number of major contracts from clients in education – a move that has proved so successful the sector now provides half the company’s income, generating £1m in revenue so far this year.
The growth has been spurred on by the appointment of education and publishing division director Nicola Johnson who, along with managing director Kevin Beales, has helped steer the company in that direction.
The new market has also seen a wider expansion of the Test Factory team, now 45-strong.
“The Test Factory has experienced phenomenal growth in recent months, with half of our client base now operating in the education sector,” Mr Beales said.
“Nicola’s appointment last year really did demonstrate our commitment to the education sector, and has clearly had a significant impact, underlined by the growth we have enjoyed in our education portfolio since. As education increasingly turns to ‘online’ – with e-learning and e-assessment – we really do believe that this is a sector with massive potential and one that we are already beginning to exploit.”
He added that the company would have the chance to expand even further, and being “at the heart of the North East”, could draw in talented employees from Northumberland and as far south as Yorkshire.
Business potential had likewise been boosted through travels further afield, including successful trade missions to China and America, organised through Sunderland City Council and Software City.
Leader of Sunderland City Council Coun Paul Watson said: “It’s an encouraging sign to see companies such as The Test Factory not only explore new sectors, but enjoy real success as a result.”