Language and search services provider Appen has increased its revenue by 62 per cent to $82.7 million for the 2015 full year on the back of customers converting from pilot programs to paying users.
The business, which provides services that improve the way search functions and voice recognition technology work with natural languages to nine of the top 10 global technology companies, also posted a 414 per cent increase in net profit after tax to $8.3 million.
Appen chief executive Mark Brayan said the company had a strong pipeline of customers, which had historically been a challenge for the company.
He expected the majority of growth to come from its search division in the next six months.
"The search services we provide have become more broadly attractive, as people go directly to e-commerce and social media business to search, rather than through a search engine. Shoppers will go straight to The Iconic or Gap, or wherever, if they want to buy a denim jacket," he said.
"We are very strong in the speech side of the company as well, but the demand is more cyclical and projects go for longer."
In October Appen upgraded its full-year 2015 guidance, and Monday's figures fell within this new range.
Appen's results have been buoyed by the weaker Australian dollar, because most of its revenue is in US dollars. Excluding the impact of foreign currency conversion, its revenue was still up 35 per cent and its net profit lifted 144 per cent.
"We have very little revenue derived locally," Mr Brayan said. "A third of our resources are local and the other two-thirds are around the world. I've run other Australian tech business and the ability to grow a tech business in Australia is dependent on how effectively and quickly you can go offshore."
Appen was founded in 1996 and listed on the ASX in January last year with an issue price of 50¢ a share. The company's shares jumped 6 per cent on the back of the result on Monday to trade at $1.59 at 1pm, up 218 per cent on its issue price.
It could not name new customers it has signed in 2015 for confidentiality, but said it works with businesses like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
AUSSIE TECH SUCCESS
Anacacia Capital first invested in Appen in 2009 and fund manager Jeremy Samuel said it was a great example of an Australian tech success story.
"They have absolutely smashed their prospectus forecasts in a tough market. It's terrific to see the company grow almost 10-fold in the last few years," he said.
"What a wonderful example of an innovative Australian success story that's selling its products and services profitably to the very largest, fastest-growing technology companies in the world."
The company has forecast low double-digit revenue and earnings growth for the 2016 financial year and it declared a dividend of 3¢ per share, fully-franked, payable on March 24.
Mr Brayan said the company's language division would also benefit from the development of self-driving and internet-connected cars.
"The connected car is a trend in the auto industry and any technology requires an interface and voice is the safest interface in a vehicle," he said.
The Australian Financial Review