After Strong Q3, TransPerfect on Track for High Single-Digit Top-Line Growth in 2019

Among the thousands of language service providers (LSPs) operating in the language industry, only a small handful of publicly-listed companies are required to disclose their financial results on a regular basis.

From large, private equity-backed LSPs to owner-run businesses, many are loathe to disclose details of their financial performance. Not so for the world’s largest LSP by revenue, TransPerfect, which just had its biggest third quarter to date.

TransPerfect’s Q3 2019 revenues came in at USD 188m, USD 15m above the same quarter the previous year, according to CEO Phil Shawe. Prior to announcing its Q3 results, TransPerfect said it was already on track to achieve full-year revenues of over USD 750m for 2019. Shawe told Slator that their “current actual estimate is USD 770–775m” for FY2019.

TransPerfect acquired resolutely in Q3 2019, scooping up four media localizers and game localization provider MoGi. Of TransPerfect’s short-term M&A plans, Shawe said, “I do not expect M&A to continue at the blistering pace set in the third quarter.” Rather, “we will be placing managerial focus and attention on integrating our new merger partners successfully.”

Prorated, none of the five companies TransPerfect acquired in Q3 will contribute an outsized impact on TransPerfect’s top line; and, if TransPerfect hits USD 775m in 2019 revenues, the company will have delivered growth of nearly 10% on its 2018 revenues, much of which is organic.

Shawe also highlighted revenue growth in GlobalLink-enabled services, which climbed 13.5% compared to the same quarter last year, and are set to hit around USD 285m in FY 2019, Shawe said. GlobalLink is TransPerfect’s translation management technology (TMS), which it licenses to enterprise customers and uses internally to run almost all translation projects. The company is planning a major new release of GlobalLink in December 2019.

TransPerfect CEO Phil Shawe (left) with Slator’s Andrew Smart

Shawe also remarked on how, although there are now vastly more TMS products on the market, there is still the opportunity to unlock further growth from TMSs. For example, some content formats, such as PDFs and images, remain problematic for current TMS platforms and innovation in this area could meet an underserved need.

Overall, Shawe’s view is that “demand for services and technology in the translation industry will continue to grow.” He added, “As I shared at SlatorCon [San Francisco], one of the challenges we relish is how to maintain a high annual growth rate as we approach the USD 1 billion mark in revenue.”