Strong customer growth from web search, social media and eCommerce businesses has pushed language and search data services company Appen's net profit after tax up 28 per cent to $2.68 million for the first half.
The business, which provides services that improve the way search function and voice recognition technology works with natural languages, has also benefited from the falling Australian dollar, as 95 per cent of the company's revenue is from offshore.
Appen booked a 33 per cent jump in revenue to $35.8 million for the half year to June 30. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were up 44 per cent to $4.84 million.
Chief executive Mark Brayan said the company's customers now included nine of the 10 world's biggest technology companies.
"Large search engine providers, social media companies and eCommerce providers are using our technology to improve the relevance of the search results to their users," he said.
"As these businesses compete for clicks, the content their search engine provides needs to be more relevant."
Appen's language division of the business also grew on the previous half, driven by recurring demand from existing customers.
On the back of the strong first half results and the weakened Australian dollar, Appen upgraded its full year 2015 guidance.
The business is now projecting revenue between $68 million and $76 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of between $9.5 million and $11.2 million.
Mr Brayan said the search division of the business would continue to grow strongly, particularly from new eCommerce customers.
"There's limited search and social media companies, but there are thousands of eCommerce businesses," he said.
"[eCommerce businesses] represent less than 10 per cent of our customers, but we're already working with some large providers like eBay. We can help eCommerce companies improve their relevance."
The weaker Australian dollar bolstered Appen's revenue by 18 percentage points. Without the weaker dollar, the business would have had revenue growth of 15 per cent, rather than 33 per cent.
"Obviously the currency is a risk for us, but what we have to do is maintain growth in the underlying business," Mr Brayan said.
Appen was founded in 1996 and listed on the ASX in January this year with an issue price of 50¢ a share. Since then it's been trading up almost 100 per cent.
Its results exceeded expectations and investors pushed Appen's share price up 11.4 per cent to 93¢ at 12.30pm on Friday.
The Australian Financial Review