The business, which is backed by 3i, is focussed on long-term expansion and invested £5m in 2014, of which £3.1m was in capital projects and £1.9m in targeted growth initiatives. Recent investments have included a £1m investment in IT infrastructure, including the launch of numerous mobile applications to improve efficiency for clients, and the development of a UKAS accredited methodology for hair toxicology, supported by the £200,000 purchase of Shimadzu testing equipment.
In order to continue investing in growth initiatives and also fund strategic acquisitions in key sectors, the company has secured a new five year facility (c. £30m total committed facilities) from its existing lending group. This refinancing will enable it to make additional investments in enhancing its technical capabilities and services, allowing it to further diversify its offering to benefit existing and prospective clients.
2014 also saw ESG’s executive team refine its strategy, confirming the client’s place at the centre of the business, in order to expand its leading positions in testing, inspection and compliance for Infrastructure, Built Environment and Energy & Waste clients. Through its commitment to continual investment, ESG combines market-leading technology with a client partnership approach that is seeing the company lead the industry in terms of innovation and growth.
ESG attributes its success to not only delivering industry-leading quality and turnaround times, but also to its development of long-term partnerships with clients, assisting and supporting them through critical operational processes.
Ian Sparks, CEO at ESG comments: “We are particularly delighted with the strong growth performance in 2014 as it marked a year of investment and also saw the development of a long-term expansion plan for ESG. The combination of continuing organic growth and specific growth from investments is providing ESG with great confidence for 2015 and the longer term.
“As we look to the future, we want to ensure that we are best placed to continually invest in the right people and the most innovative technology to ensure our market-leading position as a testing and professional business service provider.
“We are focussed on high growth markets, so have built strategic acquisitions into the company’s long-term growth plans to ensure our capabilities are maximised in these sectors. The confidence shown by our banks and investors in supporting our new financing structure and our acquisition funding provides us with a solid platform for continued growth.”
ESG has made a promising start to 2015, with high-profile agreements including securing a five year contract to continue fuel testing and analysis at the Drax energy generation plant. The company also continues to lead the industry in terms of innovation, as demonstrated by the recent launch of its Silas app for geotechnical specialists, part of its ongoing investment in IT.